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Investments, pension funds and statistics: more or less misleading?

Derek Sloan

One of my favourite radio programmes is More or Less, a Radio 4 programme that looks at statistics bandied about in public and examines them. Often (but not always) the emperor is found to be wearing no clothes (if you will forgive the stretched metaphor). There seems to be a rule about statistics that repetition gives the statistic authority, and the more it is repeated the less it is likely to be examined – so it’s often a good idea to check them out early on. Read the rest of this entry »

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New DC regulatory standards: ready or not, here they come…

Helen Powell

This time last year, if a Government document had landed on my desk announcing new governance standards for pension scheme trustees including assessing value for money, ensuring prompt and accurate processing of core financial contributions and preparing a new default fund statement of investment principles, that would have been quite a big deal. In the context of everything else that’s going on at the moment, it’s yet another item on the (already full) trustee agenda. It can be tricky for schemes to get a fix on what the real priorities are. Read the rest of this entry »

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DC pension investments: duties, rules and risks

Jonathan Goodwin

Last year I posted a piece about where responsibility falls for investment choices in DC schemes*. I pointed out risks for trustees and possible exemptions from liability.  The question of how far these can go came up recently when I was going through a draft trust deed with a member-nominated trustee client. Read the rest of this entry »

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Estoppel can work – occasionally!

Jason Shaw

I deal with an awful lot of Pensions Ombudsman complaints and, without doubt, the most common cause of member complaints is the provision of incorrect information. Typically, this will take the form of an incorrect benefit statement or retirement quotation and, invariably, that statement will suggest that the member is entitled to greater benefits than is actually the case under the scheme’s rules.   When the error comes to light, and the trustees try to reduce the member’s pension, the member complains.

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Communicating with pension scheme members: when is ‘good enough’ good enough?

Helen Powell

Systems are often imperfect and computers sometimes say ‘no’. If you fail to get important information to a pension scheme member about their rights under the scheme, is it enough to have done your best? That will depend on the nature of the duty, and to some extent on the nature of the information involved. Two recent court decisions highlight issues for both administrators and employers providing information to scheme members.

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