Archive for April 2016

Angela Burns

For many Trustees and employers, reaching the point where you can secure your pension liabilities with an insurer seems like an impossible task.

The Pensions Regulator publishes ‘Scheme Funding Statistics’ each year based on various ‘tranches’ of pension schemes. As at May 2015, the average buy-out funding level was 58% for schemes with a valuation date between September 2012 and September 2013.

For the majority of schemes , the path to buyout is not an easy one but it is important to understand that there are measures you can take to move towards this goal.

I have set out below our ‘five steps to buy-out’ Read more »

Susan McFarlane

Spence Director Hugh Nolan has been named as the incoming president of the Society of Pension Professionals (SPP). The SPP is the representative body for the wide range of providers of advice and services to work-based pension schemes and to their sponsors.  Hugh has been elected into the role and will take it up from 1 June 2016.

Hugh joined Spence & Partners in April 2016. having held a variety of senior roles in several major pension consultancies since 1989.  He was Chief Actuary at one of our large competitors until 2016 and is currently the President-Elect of the SPP.  Hugh has also sat on the Main Committee of the Association of Consulting Actuaries (ACA) and chairs the ACA’s Defined Contribution Committee.  He is a regular commentator in the press on pension issues.

Hugh’s presidency of the SPP will focus on practical measures to help policy makers shape the future of retirement savings.

Scott Cameron

Spence & Partners, the UK actuaries and consultants, today announced it has achieved the Quality Assurance Scheme (QAS) accreditation from the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA).

Scott Cameron, Actuarial Function Head at Spence & Partners, commented: “At Spence we have a culture of continual improvement and saw this assessment as an opportunity to step back and challenge our processes and procedures against a clear set of outcomes. Quality assurance is a central part of our ethos and the principles of QAS fit very well with our overall strategy. We wanted to be at the forefront of this new initiative and it is an honour to be amongst the first tranche of organisations to receive this independent recognition that demonstrates the procedures we have in place deliver quality outcomes for our clients. It is a great recognition for all the firms who have achieved accreditation.”

QAS is a voluntary accreditation scheme for organisations that employ one or more members of the IFoA.  In order to obtain QAS status, an organisation must demonstrate their commitment to assurance of the quality of actuarial work and comply with the standard APS QA1*. The suitability for accreditation is then assessed by an independent team and subcommittee.

*Taken from IFoA website https://www.actuaries.org.uk/upholding-standards/quality-assurance-scheme-qas

Neil Buchanan

Our latest report details market movements over the 3 month period to 31 March 2016, and how this impacts the key financial assumptions required for determining pension liabilities under FRS102 or IAS19.

Major asset classes have performed reasonably well during Q1 of 2016. While equities had a shaky start to the year, they have bounced back to levels similar to those at the end of 2015. Corporate bonds and gilts have also experienced positive returns over the period. However, it is not all good news as it is likely that any investment gains will be more than offset by increases in schemes’ liabilities (as a result of lower bond yields), resulting in lower funding levels. To help draw attention to the practical implications, the effect of these market conditions have been illustrated on a typical pension scheme.

Finally, we also review recent developments in the arena of pensions accounting, highlighting issues that may be of interest.

Click here to download your Pensions Accounting Update now.

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