Posts Tagged ‘Pension Protection Fund’

Neil Copeland

Have I got no news for you

It only seems like days since we mused on the last round of “massive deficits improving and getting worse at the same time” set of headlines (that’s because it was!!), when along comes another one.

The article reports changes in the latest monthly instalment of the Pension Protection Fund’s (PPF) 7800 Index, a monthly tracker of the total assets and liabilities of schemes which are potentially eligible for PPF compensation. This is dutifully reported each month in the industry press along with bland comments about gilt equity ratios and risk.

Er, what’s the point? Monthly movements in the funding position of schemes that have a minimum 50 or 60 years plus to run are completely irrelevant to long term pension funding.

And I’m also struggling with the concept that the fact that 85% of final salary pension schemes in the UK have a deficit is news – 85% of final salary pension schemes having a surplus, now that would be something worth reporting.

Here at Spence & Partners we’ve been fighting pensions ignorance since our formation in 2000, and, I have to say, it’s taking longer than we thought.

Brian Spence

Spent much of yesterday in connection with caseworkers from the Pension Protection Fund who are taking over the role of coordinating entry to the Financial Assistance Scheme.

There is much that is wrong with pensions and retirement provision but the PPF and FAS are fantastic developments. Some members of schemes we administer would have received no benefit at all before their inception.

The protection schemes are not perfect but they must be hailed as a significant achievement of the current government though it is unfashionable to give them credit for anything these days.

Preparing a pension scheme for the PPF or FAS is a major project and if you have a scheme that needs sorted out here is a link to our Pensions Protection Fund and Financial Assistance Scheme services.

David Davison

I see the Irish Government has launched a range of measures to help employees of companies who become insolvent. Similar objectives to the PPF in the UK but the PIPS scheme seems to have come up with a slightly different solution with the Irish Exchequer taking on responsibility for paying pensions in exchange for a payment from scheme trustees with any savings over the cost of annuities used to reduce pension shortfalls for other members. Should produce some short term revenue for the beleaguered Irish Exchequer but only in exchange from some potentially toxic long term liabilities. Better or worse than the PPF – it’ll be a long time before we know!!

Brian Spence

The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) has announced that from 1 April the 2009/10 compensation cap for defined benefit pension scheme members has risen by 3.5% to £31,936.32 for individuals aged 65. The compensation payable to scheme members who have taken early retirement has also increased by the same percentage.

Brian Spence

Spence & Partners has launched a data evaluation tool for scheme trustees and administrators.

The specialist administrator’s launch follows guidance on record keeping from the Pensions Regulator (tPR).

The data tool evaluates the quality of electronically held scheme data and provides a rating. The report also delivers a quality rating in relation to a specific action, such as a scheme buyout or the provision of scheme transfers. Read more »

David Davison

Hot on the heels of recently issued guidance from the Pensions Regulator on “Record Keeping – Good practice in measuring member data” specialist administrator Spence & Partners has launched a data evaluation tool aimed at scheme trustees and administrators.

The data audit report evaluates the overall quality of the scheme data held electronically and provides a rating. It can also provide a quality rating in relation to a specific exercise being undertaken, for example, scheme buyout or the provision of scheme transfers. The report provides information which meets the Pensions Regulator’s required outputs and provides a list of all the areas which need attention prioritised according to their potential impact. Read more »

David Davison

In order to meet growing demand, Spence & Partners and its trustee company Dalriada Trustees Limited, has seized the opportunity provided by the decision of Mercer to close its specialist scheme terminations unit in Belfast, to recruit highly-prized and experienced staff to enhance and grow its specialist pension scheme discontinuance offering. Read more »

Brian Spence

Ah, the fickle nature of the British press. In November 2003, Gordon Brown (along with Jude Law, Johnny Depp, George Clooney, Jarvis Cocker, Jeremy Paxman, Jonny Wilkinson, Russell Crowe, and the Dalai Lama!) was voted one of Britain’s top “sex gods” in a magazine survey. David Beckham did not poll a single vote. Read more »

Brian Spence

When the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) recently committed to making its first ever payments in the UK as part of a compensation package worth £2.5 million to 210 former employees of textile manufacturer Chilton Scotland, it signalled the end of an 18 month exercise. The journey proved to be something of a voyage of discovery as processes were developed and approaches evolved to fill in the detail around the regulations. Having now reached the end of the road it does give us a chance to review what’s been achieved and see if any lessons can be learned. Read more »

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