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Is your scheme buy-out ready? 10 questions to ask

With improved funding levels, many trustees are looking at the possibility of a buy-out. But is your scheme buy-out ready? Here are 10 questions to ask: Is buy-out affordable? Ask

Meet Robert Wakefield – the newly elected President of the PMI

I’m absolutely honoured to be President of the PMI. In fact, I have to pinch myself that one of the industry’s leading organisations – responsible for training and education across

What design technology classes can teach us about investment strategy

If you see examples of my DIY work, you’ll know straight away that design technology was not a strong subject for me at school. However, one particular DT lesson has

The future of pensions in the social housing sector

[embed][/embed] In 2019, membership of Defined Benefit pension schemes fell below one million for the first time. How did we get to this point? After all, the tradition of paying

State of the nation – Capital market conditions and LDI

[embed][/embed] Rather than plunging straight into the run on gilts and its impact on Liability-Driven Investment (LDI) and scheme funding, Richard started by building a broad picture of global and

First Actuarial calls for DWP to pause new DB funding rules

The draft regulations are designed to enshrine in law a new approach to the funding and investment strategies of DB schemes, particularly maturing ones. In its previous assessment of existing

Webinar on demand – How to make your scheme dashboard ready

First proposed in 2016, dashboards have been a subject of lively debate across the industry. And they are fast becoming a reality. On 16 June 2022, Pensions Age reported that

New pension transfer regulations: The power to say ‘no’

For many years, the response of government and regulators to pensions scams has been weak, to say the least, given the scale of the problem and the suffering caused. Pension

What next for Collective Defined Contribution pensions?

Introduced in the Pension Schemes Act 2021, CDC pensions are set to become a reality for millions of people in the UK. The Government continues to work towards a ‘go-live’

No guilt about avoiding green gilts

My wife is a radiographer for the NHS, meaning her salary is paid from all of our taxes – and for your contribution to the Overend family income, I thank

The end of Defined Benefit accrual for housing employees in SHPS?

When I first started working with housing associations over a decade ago, the majority of employees were earning a good Defined Benefit (DB) pension. In 2009, around 25,000 employees in

The RSA launches its CDC Pensions Forum to industry acclaim

The CDC Pensions Forum, which aims to coordinate stakeholders and promote CDC pensions through rigour, research and debate, is the brainchild of the RSA. The online launch of the RSA

10 ways to improve communications with pension scheme members

Member experience is a huge talking point in the pensions industry right now. Of course it’s always been critical to what we do; a pension scheme exists primarily for its

First Actuarial’s pledge to combat pension scams

In the world of pensions, we’ve seen an increase in the number of scammers looking to take advantage of scheme members and their hard-earned pension savings. As scheme administrators, First

Running pensioner payroll in the pandemic – The best of times and the worst of times

At the start of 2020, we were managing 162 pensioner payrolls on an office-by-office basis. Two months later, Gary Potts was appointed as First Actuarial’s National Payroll Manager, and payroll

Covid-19 and financial wellbeing – Looking back on 2020 and what it means for ‘the new normal’

At the start of the pandemic, we recorded a webinar, which offered six top tips for managing personal finances during these challenging times. We made this available to all UK

Your Implementation Statement – How to go beyond the tick box and get real value

The Occupational Pension Schemes (Investment and Disclosure) (Amendment) Regulations 2019, which establishes new levels of transparency and stewardship in pension scheme investment, is now upon us. Trustees should have already

NHS Employers launches First Actuarial’s NHS Pension Scheme Annual Allowance and tax ready reckoner

Commissioned by NHS Employers, First Actuarial has developed an NHS Pension Scheme Annual Allowance and tax ready reckoner. As independent advisers to the Scheme Advisory Board of the NHS Pension

Seven ways to improve Defined Benefit funding

What do we want the new funding code to achieve? That’s the question we asked when we sat down to respond to TPR’s recent consultation, which closed on 2 September

Record growth for First Actuarial’s asset transitions team

First Actuarial’s asset transitions team has been involved in more than 50 asset transitions so far this year, despite having to put a significant number of planned transitions on hold

First Actuarial gives pension schemes more say over shareholder voting

Lack of control over shareholder voting is a longstanding source of frustration for many schemes, as First Actuarial was keenly aware. “It affects our smaller clients in particular,” says Rob

The future of RPI – First Actuarial responds to Government consultation

First Actuarial has made a formal response to a Government consultation on possible reform of the Retail Prices Index (RPI). Prompted by a 2019 recommendation from the UK Statistics Authority,

Improving scheme administration transfers – First Actuarial’s Robert Wakefield chairs industry working group

Transferring from one scheme administrator to another is a known problem in the pensions industry. Unexpected exit fees can undermine some of the benefits of switching providers. And delays, which

Covid-19 and financial wellbeing – A webinar for UK employers

Three months into lockdown, we have grieved the loss of our familiar way of life and adjusted our daily routines as the pandemic loses some of its initial weirdness. But

Dolce Ltd Retirement Benefits Scheme Trustees appoint First Actuarial

A key factor in the Trustees’ decision was First Actuarial’s expertise in Government Actuary’s Department (GAD) broadly comparable pension schemes for transferring ex public sector employees from outsourced council contracts.

How much will your employees need in retirement?

The latest life expectancy figures are out –What do they mean for pensions?

This week the CMI (Continuous Mortality Investigation of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries) released the latest version of its Mortality Projections Model, also known as CMI_2019. What are the

What do NHS employees say about their pensions?

Pension freedoms – How to help your employees manage their retirement income

At First Actuarial, I lead a specialist team that works with employers to provide financial education in the workplace. Pension freedoms is something we often discuss with our clients’ employees,

Intergenerational fairness – Why solidarity beats conflict every time

Against a backdrop of budget cuts and austerity thinking, it seems that more and more politicians are happy to exploit generational differences. On a range of issues – from housing

Sorting out GMP equalisation – How hard can it be?

So how easy will it be to sort out Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) equalisation? After all, we’re only talking about calculating benefits, something pension administrators do all the time. So

CDC pension schemes are go! UK Government gives green light to life-changing pension innovation

A pioneering pension scheme model that promises improved retirement incomes for millions of workers has cleared its latest hurdle – a consultation response from the Department for Work and Pensions

Royal Mail, CWU and First Actuarial – History in the making with CDC pensions

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has been a client of First Actuarial for many years, and we were keen to support them when pension issues arose following the privatisation of

GMP equalisation and your pension scheme – What trustees need to know and how they can prepare

The whole issue of GMP equalisation came to a head in the recent Lloyds Banking Group ruling, in a case brought by three women. They claimed that the lower rate

Auto-enrolment is here to stay – So what happens next?

The introduction of pension auto-enrolment (AE) in 2012 marked a recognition that as a nation we are failing to save enough for retirement. The harsh reality is that without raising

In Defence of Small Pension Schemes – Big Isn’t Always Better

No sooner than the Government announces plans to “encourage consolidation of UK defined benefit schemes” than Disruptive Capital’s Ed Truell, as reported in the FT argues that: A lot of

CDC Pensions and Spotify – More in Common than You Might Think

Services like Spotify have revolutionised the way we consume music, by giving music fans what is effectively a radio station with a difference – they, not the DJ, get to

Keep Calm and Carillion – The Company’s Pension Schemes Are More Secure than They Look

The recent collapse of the construction and public services contractor, Carillion plc, sent shockwavesthrough the British economy. When the news broke in January, the future looked uncertain for the company’s

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