First briefings

  • 2021


    First Briefing, October 2021: The Pensions Regulator’s new criminal powers

    The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has published a policy1 on how it will use its new criminal powers to prosecute those risking savers’ Defined Benefit pensions. In this briefing, we outline those new powers.

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    First Briefing, May 2021: Scheme funding in the legal sector

    Many legal firms prepare their statutory accounts as at 30 April. This briefing looks at some of the issues these firms face when preparing this year’s FRS 102 pension disclosures. It includes analysis of the majority of legal firms with a Defined Benefit pension scheme (33 schemes across 30 firms).

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    First Briefing, March 2021: Going concern assessments for DB scheme accounts

    As a result of recent high-profile corporate failures and the knock-on impact on the pension schemes they sponsored, scheme auditors have an additional professional responsibility to be robustly sceptical when signing off scheme accounts. There is likely to be extra work for all involved in preparing pension scheme financial statements...

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    First Briefing, February 2021: Record-keeping and scheme-specific data

    Towards the end of 2019, The Pensions Regulator (TPR) issued a press release outlining its plan to crack down on poor record-keeping. Our February briefing goes through the key points.

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    First Briefing, January 2021: PPF Levy 2021/22

    The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) has confirmed its key decisions on what’s changing in the levy rules for the 2021/22 levy year. This briefing summarises the changes and provides a reminder of key deadlines.

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  • 2020


    First briefing, December 2020: Post-Brexit considerations for pension scheme trustees

    The UK’s membership of the EU has ended, with the transitional period due to end on 31 December 2020. At the time of writing, we are still uncertain whether or not a deal will be agreed between the UK and the EU. Whatever the result, trustees should be taking stock...

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    First briefing, December 2020 – RPI Reform

    Following the Spending Review speech last week, the Government released the response to the RPI reform consultation. This briefing provides a summary of the position and its implications.   What was announced:   • The chancellor will not consent to RPI being reformed before 2030 • The UK Statistics Authority...

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    First briefing, November 2020 – GMP Equalisation Judgement

    Justice Morgan has given his final judgment in the Lloyds Banking Group case, which relates to GMP equalisation.  The outcome of the judgment is that trustees will need to revisit some past transfers out and consider whether a top-up payment is required to address GMP equalisation. This briefing summarises the...

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    First briefing, July 2020 – PPF levy 2020/21 and Covid-19 easement

    The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) has published the latest updates for the 2020/21 levy year and a Covid-19 easement plan to help employers who are struggling to pay. This briefing sets out what actions you can take to make sure your levy is correct and spread your levy payments.

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    First briefing, June 2020 – Covid-19 update

    In this briefing, we discuss the ongoing impact of Covid-19 on UK pension schemes, with focus on the economy, markets and investments, and the impact of excess deaths. We also summarise the most recent guidance issued by The Pensions Regulator.

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    First briefing, May 2020 – Annual Funding Statement

    The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has published its 2020 Annual Funding Statement. It looks at how the impact of Covid-19 can be allowed for in the valuation, recognising that valuations may be at different points in the process.

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    First briefing, March 2020 – Covid-19: Three months to take stock for DB trustees

    The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has published further guidance on the impact of Covid-19 on DB pension schemes and their sponsoring employers. Read our briefing to find out what has changed, what has stayed the same, and how trustees should consider their options.

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    First briefing, March 2020 – PPF levy 2020/21

    The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) has published the final determination and policy for the 2020/21 levy year. This briefing provides a reminder of the changes since the 2019/20 levy year, what actions you should take to help make sure your levy is correct, and the key submission deadline dates.

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    First briefing, March 2020 – D&B and PPF levy 2021/22 consultation

    The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) is changing its provider of insolvency risk information from Experan to Dun & Bradstreet. In this briefing, we discuss the background and the impact of the change, and set out actions that employers and schemes will need to take in preparation for the takeover.

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    First briefing, March 2020 – Defined Benefit funding consultation

    The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has published the first of two consultations on DB funding, in preparation for a revised Code of Practice. The consultation discusses how TPR proposes to regulate funding and the principles that should underpin the new framework. Read our March briefing for the key points.

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    First briefing, February 2020 – Changes to RPI

    The UK Statistics Authority (UKSA) is planning to amend the calculation of RPI to align it with CPIH. The Chancellor will issue a consultation as part of the 2020 Budget to gauge the impact and identify the RPI changes required. How will this affect pension schemes?

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  • 2019


    First briefing, August 2019 – New duties for trustees

    In our August First briefing, we look at the new stronger governance arrangements around investment duties which will apply to trustees and managers of occupational pension schemes from 10 December 2019.

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    First briefing, March 2019 – Annual funding statement

    Each year the Pensions Regulator prepares an Annual Funding Statement and the 2019 edition has just been published. Our March briefing takes you through the important new developments covered in this year's statement.

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    First briefing, February 2019 – Superfunds

    Superfunds are one of the more interesting DB consolidation solutions to emerge recently. Essentially they involve a third party providing additional capital to replace the covenant of the sponsoring employer. We take a detailed look at how superfunds work and whether you should be considering them for your scheme.

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    First briefing, January 2019 – Auto-enrolment update

    April 2019 will bring two updates to auto-enrolment regulations – the last of the planned increases in contribution phasing, and changes in qualifying earnings and other limits. Read on for further details in our latest First Briefing.

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    First briefing, January 2019 – Salary sacrifice

    If your business is under relentless pressure to make cost savings while keeping staff onside, salary sacrifice is worth considering. Implementing salary sacrifice on pension contributions is a potential win-win, offering National Insurance (NI) savings for both employer and employer. Find out how in our opening First Briefing of 2019.

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  • 2018


    First briefing, November 2018 – GMP equalisation

    The judgment in the Lloyds Banking Group case has at last provided clarity on how to deal with Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) equalisation, although it may not have given the answer many had hoped for. This briefing covers the recent judgment and considers where we go from here.

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    First briefing, October 2018 – Budget 2018

    The Chancellor of the Exchequer presented his Budget on 29 October 2018. This briefing sets out some of the key points around pensions and other employer-provided benefits.

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    First briefing, October 2018 – PPF levy 2019/20 consultation

    The PPF have recently published for consultation their draft rules for determining the PPF levy for 2019/20. This briefing looks at the key points, giving key deadlines and specific guidance on contingent assets,

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    First briefing, July 2018 – Equitable Life

    The announcement that Equitable Life is to transfer all its policies to Reliance Life will have widespread ramifications across the pensions world. We look at what it will mean for Equitable Life policyholders, and recommend actions that trustees can take at this stage.

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    First briefing, May 2018 – DC disclosure costs and charges regulations

    Following the DWP's 2017, the government has now issued regulations and guidance on the disclosure of cost and charge information relating to occupational money purchase benefits. This should make it easier to compare value for money between schemes. In this First Briefing, we take you through the key elements of...

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    First briefing, March 2018 – White Paper on protecting DB pension schemes

    In March, Government published a policy paper on how it intends to increase the protections for DB scheme members and make improvements to the pensions system. This First Briefing gives a summary of the main themes of the proposals, with some comment and analysis from First Actuarial.

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    First briefing, February 2018 – Auto-enrolment contribution phasing

    When the government introduced auto enrolment in 2012, it set minimum contribution levels that would increase over time. The first increase of this 'contribution phase' takes place on 6 April 2018. This briefing sets out the new rates and provides guidance on member communication and consultation, and the processing of...

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    First briefing, January 2018 – Auto-enrolment review

    Although the automatic enrolment regime is not yet fully rolled out, the DWP has already carried out a review. The results of this review, which examined coverage of automatic enrolment, how engagement can be improved and future contributions have just been published. We provide a digest of the review's proposals and findings, assess the...

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    First briefing, January 2018 – Record-keeping

    In November 2017, the Pensions Regulator published an update to its original guidance on record-keeping. The new guidance looks at measuring and improving the quality of pension scheme data. This briefing takes you through the new guidance and recommends a number of steps trustees should take.

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