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Do you meet the Pensions Regulator’s expectations? Six points to note in the draft DC Code

Helen Powell

Two years ago the Pensions Regulator brought in a new Code of Practice on the governance and administration of DC schemes, and trustees and providers started work on ensuring that they were operating in line with its 31 quality features. With almost undignified haste, that Code was overtaken by events, following the introduction of DC flexible access and new governance requirements from April 2015. Read the rest of this entry »

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Correcting mistakes – a cheaper alternative to rectification?

Jason Shaw

It is surprisingly common for there to be mistakes in scheme rules. Quite often, the way those mistakes are remedied is by the employer and/or trustees going to court for rectification of the erroneous provisions. Occasionally, however, it may be possible for trustees to take advantage of an alternative, and cheaper, procedure provided for under section 48 of the Administration of Justice Act 1985. Essentially, section 48 provides that where there is a question as to how the scheme rules should be construed, and a counsel of at least ten years’ call has provided a written opinion about that question, then the court may make an order authorising the trustees to take certain steps in reliance on that counsel’s opinion. Read the rest of this entry »

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My pensions priorities: what actions should be at the top of your end of year to-do list?

Stephen Richards

The nights are drawing in, the Christmas adverts are well underway, and we have 35 working days remaining in 2015. Here are my suggested priorities for pension schemes before the turn of the year: Read the rest of this entry »

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Class actions in the UK – a new regime?

Jason Shaw

There has been a lot of talk recently about the introduction of U.S.-style class actions into the UK. The discussion stems from the class action regime introduced by the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (the CRA). However, the CRA only applies to collective proceedings in the Competition Appeal Tribunal for breaches of competition law – it doesn’t have a wider reach than that. While the CRA may not herald the introduction of a general U.S.-style approach to class actions, class actions remain an important issue for trustees and it is quite likely that trustees have considered, or will in the future need to consider, whether or not to participate in a class action. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Chancellor who came to TEE: is pensions tax just a matter of timing?

Helen Powell

An ISA-style system of pensions taxation, as suggested by the Chancellor in his Summer Budget yesterday, is conceptually quite straightforward. Currently the UK Government provides tax relief (subject to the annual allowance) on pension contributions as they are made, exempts investment roll-up during the accumulation phase and taxes the end product (known as an Exempt, Exempt, Taxed system or EET). It would be entirely possible to turn that around and require pension contributions to be made from taxed income, continue to allow tax-free investment roll-up and make pensions and lump sum payments tax-free (a TEE system). Read the rest of this entry »

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