Scots will go to the polls in 2014 on the question of independence. I confess I am not neutral in the debate being a Scot living in London (but don’t however have a vote!) but it did get me thinking about what a “yes” would mean for UK pension schemes, and in particular those defined benefit schemes using asset-backed contribution structures as part of their funding arrangements. Read the rest of this entry »
We’ve looked at some of the ways that contractual enrolment into pension saving is different from auto-enrolment (see Helen Powell’s post, Enrolling into pension saving: do you know your AE from your CE?) As the regime rolls into action, we are starting to come across areas where the interaction of contractual enrolment with information requirements under the auto-enrolment legislation can create practical problems for employers, and potentially end up baffling members.
“You like to-may-to, I like to-mah-to”; you say auto-enrolment, I say contractual enrolment. Unfortunately, we can’t call the whole thing off. The pensions auto-enrolment regime is logistically quite complex. Many employers are finding it easier, for a variety of reasons, to arrange things so that their workers are already members of a suitable pension arrangement when they reach their automatic enrolment date. This may well make good practical sense, but you need to be aware that it is not auto-enrolment. This is contractual enrolment, and understanding the difference does make a difference. Read the rest of this entry »
Nowadays, pension scheme trustees have to declare the identities of a scheme’s statutory employers every year on the scheme return. There’s a reason for this: trustees have to be vigilant to the risk of being left without a statutory employer and therefore losing members the protection of the Pension Protection Fund. It isn’t always obvious it’s happening. Bulk transfers and employer substitutions can cause problems if you don’t plan ahead, and it is a risk which is ever increasing as more and more schemes are closed to future accrual. Read the rest of this entry »