The festive season is behind us, spring is on the way, and here we are in the gap between the two: it must be Pension Protection Fund levy season. This is the time of year when sponsors of defined benefit schemes are busy thinking about their upcoming levy bills, and what they can do to keep them as low as possible.
Archive for January, 2010
Stock lending is back in the news again. The Pensions Regulator has issued a “help for trustees” statement (see our Pensions Prompt for the detail). But it wasn’t what the Regulator said that attracted my attention (it was good sensible stuff) but rather a piece in the FT the other day. The FT quoted some comments made by Frank Field MP, who in turn refers to statements by the unnamed chairman of a pension scheme, on the subject of stock lending. By now you’ll have realised that this is a bit derivative and the story may have changed in the telling, but I had some difficulty in believing what was being said.
The Government has been very busy in the last couple of weeks providing lots more information about the mechanics of auto-enrolment and about duties and options for employers.
Closures to further DB accrual, reduced accrual rates, caps on pensionable pay, increases in member contributions…the cost cutting measures which gathered pace and gained respectability in 2009 look set to continue into 2010. A survey by Professional Pensions, reported this week, reveals that over 70% of scheme managers are against closure – hardly surprising but what should trustees be doing?