• From The Pensions Regulator:

    Aimed at focusing greater attention on risks facing pension scheme members, the Pensions Regulator has today published revised internal controls guidance for consultation, alongside new ‘bite-sized’ e-learning modules which provide an overview of the topic.

    This forms a vital part of the current

    The new guidance aims to ensure that trustees, especially of smaller schemes, have the tools to perform their critical role in protecting pensions, particularly in the current economic climate.

    The implementation of robust internal controls is a legal requirement for trustees and the failure to put processes in place can result in scheme members being exposed to the risks associated with poor record-keeping, inappropriate investment allocation and conflicts of interest in trustee boards.

    The revised guidance, which provides assistance with key governance ar…

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  • From The Pensions Regulator:

    The Pensions Regulator’s revised Trustee Knowledge and Understanding (TKU) code of practice is now in effect. The code sets minimum requirements for trustees to help ensure pension schemes are run effectively.

    The guidance supporting the code has also been subject to a review. The most significant change is that there is a reduced requirement on trustees of small (12-99 members) fully insured DC schemes.

    You can view and download the revised code of practice from our…

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  • From The Pensions Regulator:

    The Pensions Regulator today calls for greater scrutiny of transfer incentive exercises, warning trustees of the risks these pose to members’ benefits.

    Speaking at the NAPF Annual Trustee conference, David Norgrove, chair of the Pensions Regulator said:

    “Trustees should start from the presumption that such exercises and transfers are not in member interests. If a company is willing to encourage the transfer, the company’s gain is likely to be the member’s loss.”

    The effect of the economic climate on pension scheme deficits has led many employers to review the form of the pension provision they offer to their employees. This in turn has fuelled the level of activity in the de-risking and the liability-management markets.

    Since regulatory guidance on inducements was published in January 2007, transfer incentives or enhanced t…

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  • From The Pensions Regulator:

    In-depth analysis of how the UK’s defined benefit pension schemes fared during the economic turbulence experienced in 2008/09 was jointly published today (Tuesday) by the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) and the Pensions Regulator (the regulator).

    Much of the analysis in the Purple Book 2009 is based on new information contained in the returns which schemes provided to the regulator by the end of March 2009. These returns contain details about such things as scheme valuation, asset allocation and membership.

    PPF Chief Executive, Alan Rubenstein, said: “This year’s Purple Book highlights how the dramatic deterioration in the economic and financial environment during 2008/09, not just for the UK but for most major economies, led to heightened risk for the schemes in the PPF universe.

    “The Purple Book continues to provide important informatio…

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  • From The Pensions Regulator:

    The Pensions Regulator today published the latest edition of its annual

    Pensions Regulator chair, David Norgrove said: “The three tranches of scheme valuations have been conducted in very different economic circumstances and this analysis explores some of the effects that the downturn, and other factors such as longevity improvements, have had on scheme funding.

    “We urge trustees to continue to take a prudent approach to assessing schemes’ technical provisions, to maintain an honest and open dialogue with employers, and to remain aware of the changing economic situation as they focus on the long term interests of scheme members. The regulator will continue to focus on this shared goal.”

    Some of the key findings are:…

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  • From The Pensions Regulator:

    The regulator today launches a campaign aimed at encouraging good governance and administration and better management of pension scheme risks. A statement published alongside results of the 2009 pension scheme governance survey outlines the regulator’s key focus areas.

    The regulator makes clear that trustees responsible for running pension schemes need to be sure that:

    Pensions Regulator chief executive Tony Hobman said:

    “Good governance underpins secure pensions.

    “Scheme members entrust their pension savings into the hands of others to a total estimate of more than £1 trillion in assets, often for decades of their working lives.

    “The scale of the market and the importance of the task of managing people’s life savings to secure their income in retirement require robust standards of…

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  • From The Pensions Regulator:

    As part of an ongoing campaign focused on addressing the risks facing defined contribution scheme members, the Pensions Regulator and the FSA have today jointly published a new information leaflet for employers – ‘Guide for employers: talking to your employees about pensions’.

    The leaflet sets out questions that employers may be asked by their employees about pensions and suggests answers and other sources of information that employees can refer to. It will be relevant to employers with DB, DC and contract-based schemes.

    The leaflet does not increase the responsibilities on employers but encourages them to look at the activities they can do voluntarily, at little or no cost, to help their employees to get greater value from the scheme.

    The Pensions Regulator and FSA have come together to publish this information with a shared belief that more engaged and conf…

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  • From The Pensions Regulator:

    The Pensions Regulator was today chosen as a finalist for ‘The Better Regulation Award’ at the forthcoming National Business Awards. 

    Previously a finalist in 2007, the regulator has been shortlisted this time for its programme of work to minimise the burden on pension schemes of meeting their legal duty to register and submit data to the regulator.

    This programme has centred on the in-house development of the online ‘Exchange’ platform which has enabled significant reductions in the burden of the registration and scheme return process. We consulted widely with our stakeholders in designing and testing Exchange and we incorporated their ideas into this new platform.

    This has included cutting the amount of data requested by up to 20%; pre-populating online forms to reduce the time taken on data entry; and allowing schemes to update their data online at any time…

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  • From The Pensions Regulator:

    Informed member choices at retirement and greater employer engagement are the focus of a new Pensions Regulator

    Key points in the statement include:

    To help trustees ensure high standards in pre-retirement literature, we have updated our

    Today we have published our first analysis of the DC trust-based landscape, ‘

    The Pensions Regulator, chief executive Tony Hobman says: “It is more important than ever in these challenging economic times for members to make the right decisions to maximise value for money at retirement.

    “We know that our work on DC will enable trustees, employers, advisers and providers to improve the outcomes for DC scheme members. In the run-up to 2012 we are focusing on providing more education to assist employers with their pension provision and are looking at the standards in key processes for DC pensions. We are…

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  • From The Pensions Regulator:

    Following a 12-week consultation on the draft revised trustee knowledge and understanding (TKU) code of practice and scope guidance, the Pensions Regulator has found widespread support of the TKU regime.

    The

    Despite some early concern about our increasing expectations of trustees, most respondents recognised that the requirements have not changed substantially and, as such, the revised code and scope have not substantially changed either.

    A lot of feedback was also given about the Trustee toolkit. Some respondents commented that the toolkit should be complemented by scheme specific training given by an appropriate adviser or industry trainer. This is consistent with our view that different requirements will be appropriate for trustees of different types of schemes. Our view is that scheme specific learning would be of greater value if it were pitched at an audience who were at…

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