Archive for May 2015

Alan Collins

Spence & Partners, the UK pensions actuaries and administration specialists, today commented on The Pensions Regulator’s (TPR) annual defined benefit funding statement 2015.

Alan Collins, Head of Trustee Advisory Services at Spence & Partners, said: “The regulator’s funding statement is now a firm fixture in the pensions calendar and this year’s instalment has given trustees, sponsoring employers and advisors plenty of food for thought.  It is also clear that 2015 valuations will contain more bad news than good.  The regulator’s own analysis shows that ‘despite all major asset classes having performed well and schemes having paid £44 billion in deficit repair contributions over the last 3 years…many schemes with 2015 valuations will have larger funding deficits’ and that ‘most schemes will set funding strategies based on lower expected returns than at their last valuation’. Read more »

Rachel Graham

Having heard quite a lot of positive feedback regarding the Future Influencer events from my colleagues, Spence’s recent event on Thursday 21 May was my opportunity to finally find out what all of the fuss was about! One of Waterloo’s Alice in Wonderland inspired rooms was the venue for the event. From the giant Alice figurine which greeted us at the entrance to the miniature elevator in the corridor; this venue has to be seen to be believed.

Following some delicious sausage and bacon breakfast rolls (I bypassed the healthier option of yoghurt and granola), Spence’s Christopher Shortt kicked off the event presenting on The Power of Automation. Christopher’s detail on the process of automation and issues faced in the short and long term prompted his question to the audience of what the biggest factor scheme’s considering automation have to consider? Of course, it is the cost involved, and Christopher highlighted how the benefit from automation in the long term should certainly outweigh the short term cost involved. Spence’s in-house administration and actuarial automated system, Mantle was then the topic of conversation as the Future Influencers were keen to find out how user friendly the system was to the layman and also how the system could possibly deal with uncertainties such as discretionary pension increases. Click here to view Chris’s presentation. Read more »

Alan Collins

Glasgow-based pension consultants and actuaries, Spence & Partners and its sister firms Dalriada Trustees Limited and Veratta have moved their Glasgow operation to the city’s Culzean Building.

Following expansion of the firms’ UK-wide business and growing staff numbers, they have re-located from their previous offices at West Regent Street taking the 4,700 square foot 6th floor of the historic building, located at the junction of Renfield and St Vincent Street in Glasgow city centre.

Barclay Gilmour Partners provided consulting advice on the move.

Alan Collins

Spence & Partners, the UK pensions actuaries and administration specialists, today advised that defined benefit (DB) trustees need to gear up to use the power they can now have at the touch of a button.

Alan Collins, Head of Trustee Advisory Services at Spence & Partners, commented: “With Pensions Freedom Day capturing the headlines, it would be easy to think that DB schemes have been left behind. But actually the development of technology in the past year has been such that trustees now have the potential to operate their schemes in a much more effective and efficient way.

“With the right system, trustees can now have daily valuation figures and actuarial analytics based on live administration data, daily asset feeds from investment managers and projected future cashflow information at their finger tips.  The days of waiting for actuaries to provide complex reports and calculations are over – it is up to trustees to ensure they have the right processes and structure in place to use up to date information and speed up their decision making.” Read more »

David Davison

In March 2015 the Department for Work & Pensions launched a call for evidence on ‘Section 75 Employer Debt in Non-Associated Multi-Employer Defined Benefit Pension Schemes’. This is a once in a generation opportunity for charities to influence government to get legislation which is seriously damaging charities financial viability. I therefore would urge charities who participate in schemes of this type to make their views known to the DWP. I’ve included  a link to an article I’ve written on Civil Society Online and our response to the Consultation which should hopefully help charities with their responses. The consultation closes on 22nd May 2015 so not much time left.

Alan Collins

Spence & Partners, the UK pensions actuaries and administration specialists, scooped the Consulting Innovation of the Year award at the prestigious 2015 UK Professional Pensions awards last Thursday (7 May). The awards, which are in their 18th year, were presented at a gala dinner at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel hosted by comedienne and writer Sandi Toksvig.

The close fought category saw Spence & Partners, judged by a panel of senior scheme managers, trustees and advisers, come out on top for their innovative approach to Defined Benefit (DB) scheme management, which was originally launched in May 2014. Alan Collins, Head of Trustee Advisory Services at Spence, commented: “We’re incredibly proud of the ‘Spence approach’ and to be recognised at the 2015 UK Pensions Awards is fantastic for challenging the archaic manner by which actuarial services are delivered within the pensions industry. Pension schemes are no longer working to an indefinite time horizon, where a check once every three years to ensure the funding plans are broadly on track is sufficient. We believe our approach has revolutionised the way our clients’ pension schemes are run giving them access to the kind of analysis and advice that were previously reserved for only the largest of schemes.” Read more »

Jill Michael

Politics affects everything!

The United Kingdom General Election will be held on 7 May 2015 to elect the 56th parliament of the United Kingdom. Voting will also take place in all parliamentary constituencies of the United Kingdom to elect MPs.

If you live in this world then politics affects you, here is my very simple explanation! Read more »

Craig Coulter

On 25 November 2014 a revised version of The Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP), Financial Reports of Pension Schemes was released. This was due to the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) issuing FRS102, the Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the UK and Ireland.

The revised SORP will apply to accounting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2015.

The most significant changes surround the following areas; Read more »

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