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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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DB to DC pension transfers: communications caught between a rock and a hard place?

Helen Powell

Here’s the dilemma: as a sponsor or trustee of a DB pension scheme, you’re aware that something else is going on underneath all the noise of the Budget around allowing people to access their DC savings. There’s an ongoing consultation about what the impact will be for DB members – will they be allowed to transfer freely to a DC environment and access their pension savings?

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Administrative practice: do your members’ pension benefits actually reflect the rules?

Joan Whybray

If there’s one topic likely to get pension scheme trustees, administrators, lawyers and actuaries breaking out in a cold sweat, it’s when you start comparing (really comparing) a scheme’s rules with its administrative practice.  Rather than addressing queries as and when they arise, the scheme’s actuaries and administrators will sit down in a darkened room (often with a cold towel) and systematically review the calculation of members’ benefits and the relationship, or otherwise, the calculation has to the scheme’s rules.

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