News and comment

Pension scheme run-on – Gimmick or game changer?

On Thursday 13 June at First Actuarial’s 2024 Conference, Vicky Greenwood presented a session on pension scheme run-on. In this article, Vicky explores the prospects of run-on for schemes of all sizes.

‘DB or not DB’ – That really is the question!

Three years ago, Steve Deverell-Smith co-authored a blog that looked at the options available to scheme sponsors at that time to manage spiralling pension costs. In this update, Steve takes a fresh look at the issues, reflecting on how much has changed over a relatively short period of time.

Are Defined Contribution pensions failing to deliver good retirement incomes?

Pension schemes are a recognition of every employer’s duty to provide for their employees’ old age. However, 89% of pensioner households now fall short of the moderate retirement living standards set by the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association. Defined Contribution pension consultant David Parfett explores how employers can make their pension provision fit for purpose.

Implications of the FCA’s ‘polluter pays’ proposals for firms that have advised on pension transfer

Sarah Abraham discusses the FCA’s consultation paper on redress and what it might mean for personal investment firms. This article was originally published in FT Adviser.

Hybrid working – Are we losing touch with each other?

Robert Wakefield, Head of Administration Services at First Actuarial and President of the PMI, reflects on what we’re losing out on when we turn away from face-to-face contact.

Take two apprentices – Amy Atherton and Katie Mosley discuss their apprenticeships at First Actuarial

We talk to two of First Actuarial's apprentices about their experiences. Amy Atherton is a Level 3 HR Support Apprentice. And Katie Mosley is a Level 3 Workplace Pensions Administration Apprentice.

The new general code – How to lighten the burden of compliance while improving member outcomes

Phil Sargent, Partner and Head of Defined Benefit Consulting, explains that with the right approach and suitable technology, trustees can deliver improvements to members as well as comply with the general code.

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, says Phil Kelly, a Pensions Actuary at First Actuarial. But is your scheme buy-out ready? Here are 10 questions to ask.

Meet Robert Wakefield – the newly elected President of the PMI

Robert Wakefield, Head of Administration Services at First Actuarial, is the newly elected President of the Pensions Management Institute (PMI). In this article, he discusses what the presidency means to him and why he will be telling it like it is during his term of office.

What design technology classes can teach us about investment strategy

Rob Skelton from our investment team recalls a useful school lesson he applies to every investment strategy he works on.

The future of pensions in the social housing sector

What is CDC, and how might it work in the social housing sector? At March’s National Housing Federation Finance Conference, Katie Trevelyan (née Sutton) teamed up with Heather Ashton at Thirteen Housing Group to explore the potential of CDC.

State of the nation – Capital market conditions and LDI

In one of the most popular webinars we’ve ever run, First Actuarial partner Richard Lunt revisited recent market turmoil – the gilt market crisis and its impact on LDI and scheme funding – and asked, is the situation really as bad as some commentators have suggested?

First Actuarial calls for DWP to pause new DB funding rules

First Actuarial has asked the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to hit pause on the new Defined Benefit (DB) pension scheme funding rules. This would allow for a timely re-assessment of the draft regulations in light of recent financial market developments. The firm has made this request as part of its response to the consultation.

Webinar on demand – How to make your scheme dashboard ready

In our recent webinar, Angela Bell, Industry Outreach Lead at The Pensions Regulator joins First Actuarial’s Robert Wakefield and Claire Fuller. They provide an overview of pensions dashboards and discuss how you can make your scheme dashboard-ready.

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

Pensions Administration Manager Richard Packham welcomes the new powers that trustees and administrators now have to block fraudulent transfers and combat pension scams.

What next for Collective Defined Contribution pensions?

Derek Benstead – who has played an instrumental role in the introduction of Collective Defined Contribution (CDC) in the UK – discusses where we are and where we’re heading.

No guilt about avoiding green gilts

First Actuarial partner Andrew Overend takes a personal view of green gilts then asks whether trustees should consider them for scheme investments

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

With the Social Housing Pension Scheme (SHPS) 30 September 2020 actuarial results, employers who have closed their membership are favoured over open-to-new-entrants employers, argues Derek Benstead. How can SHPS Trustees offer a more equitable arrangement, and what can open employers do?

The RSA launches its CDC Pensions Forum to industry acclaim

On 7th July 2021, the RSA launched its CDC Pensions Forum. The online event brought together leading politicians, notably Pensions Minister Guy Opperman and Shadow Pensions Minster Matt Rodda, along with an expert panel, which included First Actuarial’s Derek Benstead.

10 ways to improve communications with pension scheme members

First Actuarial’s administration team has carried out a root and branch review of the information it provides for scheme members.

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.

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

On the anniversary of lockdown, Gary Potts and Nicola McIntyre explain how their team has kept 175 pensioner payrolls running during the Covid-19 crisis, and why a global pandemic turned out to be the best and worst possible time for organisational change.

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

Louise Foxton, Natalie Ogden, Zoe Sadler and Katie Sutton from First Actuarial’s financial wellbeing team look back at a momentous year for personal finance, with a video that offers tips for managing money in the new normal.

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

Andrew Overend describes First Actuarial’s unique approach to the Implementation Statement, which provides meaningful analysis of investment managers’ shareholder voting.

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

The tool cuts through the complexity of the Annual Allowance to provide a simple traffic light risk indicator for NHS staff, says Dale Walmsley.

Seven ways to improve Defined Benefit funding

In March 2020, The Pensions Regulator (TPR) opened a consultation on its proposed revisions to the DB funding code. In framing its response, First Actuarial proposes seven ways to change DB funding for the better.

Record growth for First Actuarial’s asset transitions team

First Actuarial has seen a sizeable increase in asset transition activity this year and is on track for a record year, despite the challenges presented by Covid-19. Richard Lunt discusses the background to this increase in activity.

First Actuarial gives pension schemes more say over shareholder voting

Exercising voting rights is a key way to tackle Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues. But pension schemes, in common with other institutional shareholders with assets invested in pooled funds, have no control over this – fund managers cast votes as they see fit.

The future of RPI – First Actuarial responds to Government consultation

Hilary Salt discusses proposed changes to the Retail Prices Index (RPI), highlighting a number of questions which First Actuarial has raised in its formal response to Government consultation.

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 are common, make it hard for trustees to plan and can damage relations with scheme members.

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

First Actuarial has produced a webinar to help the UK workforce take control of its finances during this challenging time. It’s freely available to all UK employers, who can then distribute it to their staff as they see fit.

Dolce Ltd Retirement Benefits Scheme Trustees appoint First Actuarial

Dolce Ltd is an artisan catering company, providing school meals of restaurant quality, freshly cooked using raw ingredients. Established more than 20 years ago, they now supply schools across the UK, and served 11 million school dinners in 2019.

How much will your employees need in retirement?

How much money will your employees need in retirement? According to the PLSA, a single person living outside London would need an annual income of £10,200 for a minimum standard of living in retirement. For couples, this figure is £15,700. And that’s just for the basics and a bit of fun money.

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

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

What do NHS employees say about their pensions?

Concerned about the impact of pensions taxation – and the Annual Allowance in particular – NHS Employers asked First Actuarial to carry out some independent research, to see how widespread the problem was.

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, addressing its impact in a range of formats – from group workshops to drop-in surgeries and face-to-face sessions.

Intergenerational fairness – Why solidarity beats conflict every time

As intergenerational fairness climbs up the political agenda, First Actuarial’s Hilary Salt previews a fringe meeting at TUC Congress, Brighton. Intergenerational solidarity beats intergenerational conflict will explore how pension professionals and trade unionists can work together to improve pensions and living standards across the generations.

Sorting out GMP equalisation – How hard can it be?

GMP equalisation explained. A step-by-step guide to GMP equalisation calculations for pension schemes and their administrators.

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

Hilary Salt welcomes the Government’s consultation response and looks forward to the introduction of a CDC pension scheme at Royal Mail.

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

CDC, or Collective Defined Contribution, is now a talking point in the pensions industry, but it all started in the UK when Royal Mail. proposed closing the company’s Defined Benefit scheme

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

Part one of a series of GMP updates. The latest GMP equalisation developments, from Robert Wakefield, Head of Pensions Administration at First Actuarial.

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

As employers prepare for the second phase of contribution increases, First Actuarial’s Simon Redfern looks at the present and future of auto-enrolment.

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

First Actuarial’s Henry Tapper takes the measure of attacks on small pension schemes, in the wake of recent superfund announcements

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

Collective Defined Contribution, or CDC, could transform the retirement experience, argues First Actuarial’s Henry Tapper

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

First Actuarial’s Catherine Lockyer sheds light on the doom and gloom surrounding Carillion’s pension schemes

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