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 »
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 »
Inappropriate and out of date pension arrangements could be significant for a growing number of charities.
Actuarial and consultancy firm Spence & Partners says many small charities and not-for-profit organisations have been encouraged to participate in local authority or multi-employer schemes. Read more »
Firms seeking to fend off unwanted attention from aggressive suitors can find refuge in their final salary pension scheme.
Final salary pension schemes have always been seen as a fly in the ointment when it comes to selling a business, however they can be very useful at frightening off potential predators. Read more »
Spence & Partners, the largest independent locally-owned firm of actuaries and consultants in Scotland and Northern Ireland, expects to deliver a 15% increase in turnover and staff during 2009.
The firm has offices in London, Glasgow and Belfast and although its Scottish client base accounts for some 60 per cent of its total, an ambitious expansion strategy has secured a significant presence in England. Read more »
Now the dust has settled following the introduction of the pension simplification rules, the advantage handed to contract based arrangements over trust based arrangements is plain for all to see.
Despite seeking to level the pensions’ playing field, actuarial and consulting specialist Spence & Partners says the new rules have given contract based arrangements a significant advantage. Read more »
Many final salary pension schemes will see liabilities jump on the back of a change in tack by the Pensions Regulator.
Schemes are now expected to take a harder line on the assumptions they make about future annual improvements in life expectancy. Those that make assumptions weaker than the Long Cohort assumption can expect to come in for further scrutiny. Read more »
Specialist actuary, Spence & Partners, who provide actuarial support to Independent Financial Advisers, have launched a longevity calculator. The calculator, which is free to download from the Spence & Partners website www.spenceandpartners.co.uk looks to assist financial advisers and their clients in evaluating life expectancy as part of the process of establishing cash flow requirements in retirement. Read more »
Audit standard FRS17 may have become the accepted measure by which many pension liabilities are calculated, but firms must recognise its flaws before blindly believing the figures it throws up.
Actuarial and consultancy firm Spence & Partners says financial directors need to fully understand and question the results provided to them and make sure they are fully aware of the corporate impact. Read more »
In its response to the Deregulatory Review the Government has sought views on proposals to reduce the cap on revaluation of deferred benefits for pension rights accrued on or after a future date from 5% to 2.5%.
“This move goes against the recommendations of the review” said Brian Spence, director of pensions on divorce specialists Spence & Partners “and is clearly designed to see if it can reduce the entrenched trend of final salary schemes closing.” Read more »
The requirements for trustees to ensure that arrangements are in place, and implemented, that provide for at least one-third of trustees or at least one-third of directors of the trustee company to be member-nominated, start to apply from what is known as the ‘commencement date’. Read more »
Do it yourself is supposed to be cheap, but taking this approach to final salary pension schemes may end up costing firms a lot more than they realise.
On the back of recent cases such as Trustee Solutions Ltd and others v Dubery and Sovereign Trustees Limited v Glover and others, the potential pitfalls of eschewing professional advice and administering a scheme incorrectly are fast becoming clear. Read more »
Belfast and Glasgow-based actuaries Spence & Partners is moving into larger office premises in both Belfast and Glasgow to accommodate further growth.
In Belfast the firm has moved its head office further along the same street, from 128a Great Victoria Street to Chamber of Commerce House, 22 Great Victoria Street to help meet existing business requirements and its continuing development plans. Read more »
Final salary pension schemes may have come in for a hard time in recent years, but the employers running them are not as mercenary as media reports would suggest.
Many have come under fire for trying to take a hack saw to their liabilities and cut them on the cheap. However actuarial and consultancy firm Spence & Partners says that providing a clear and structured process is followed there is the potential for a significant win-win solution for employers and their staff. Read more »
David Davison, a Director at Spence & Partners, independent actuaries and consultants, has called for a rational debate as to how companies which wish to better manage their final salary pension liabilities engage with their current and former employees.
Said Davison, “There has been a huge amount of hype over recent months, almost wholly negative, about the practice of employers topping up final salary scheme transfer values to allow members to exercise a real choice in relation to their pension benefits. There is scope for a more considered and balanced assessment of the issues. Read more »
In a reversal of the traditional economic relationship between Scotland and Northern Ireland, actuaries Spence & Partners has expanded from its Belfast origins to grab a significant foothold in the Scottish market only two years after opening an office in Glasgow.
Established in 2000 Spence & Partners now employs 18 people in its Belfast head office and 10 in Scotland. The Glasgow office opened early in 2004 and has grown both its turnover, by about 25% to £2.5 million, and its staff ever since. The firm is presently positioning itself for a further surge in demand for its services with a range of senior appointments. Read more »
In a reversal of the traditional economic relationship between Scotland and Northern Ireland, actuaries Spence & Partners has expanded from its Belfast origins to become the largest independent, privately-owned actuarial firm servicing the SME sector in Scotland within two years of opening an office in Glasgow.
Established in 2000, Spence & Partners opened its Glasgow Office in 2004 and has grown both its turnover, to £2.5 million, and its staff ever since. The firm is presently positioning itself for a further surge in demand for its services with a range of senior appointments. Read more »
There has been a huge increase in the number and size of not-for-profit organisations over recent years, fuelled by local authorities’ appetite for out-sourcing public sector services. Most of these bodies are small, run on tight budgets and receive much of their funding from the public purse. Significant growth in this sector continues as the government seeks to control its public spending by laying off liabilities to these private sector suppliers. Read more »