Pensions Liberation Schemes – a significant new threat

13 March 2013 Pensions liberation schemes (whether advertised by cold call, email or text message) seem to be on the increase and are causing alarm bells. Pensions tax regulation is clear here: a member is able to receive 25% of accumulated capital back tax-free at the point of retirement but there are extremely restricted circumstances where an earlier return of capital is anything other than an unauthorised payment. There is also the risk of outright fraud with these schemes and a potential for full loss of the pension pot.

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Impact of Moody’s downgrade of UK government gilts

25 February 2013 Over the weekend, I found myself musing on the consequences of the Moody’s downgrade of UK government debt for UK pension schemes. Does it really matter: are gilts really safe, what does it mean for the cost of financing the public debt and for pension deficits. In reality, I believe that the change of credit rating by one of the three big agencies tells us next to nothing new about the safety of gilts and that the Moody’s action is likely to have an extremely limited impact on gilt yields. It will likely continue the recent weakness…

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Making Pension Charges A Little Clearer

06 December 2012 In November 2012, the National Association of Pension Funds published a document: “Pension Charges Made Clear: Joint Industry Code of Conduct” in association with a number of industry trade bodies: the Association of British Insurers, the Investment Management Association and the Society of Pension Consultants.

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ONS : Pre-Announcement of Consultation on RPI Calculation Methodology

19 September 2012 The Office for National Statistics has announced that the National Statistician will shortly be consulting (from 8 October to 30 November 2012) on updating the calculation methodology for the Retail Price Inflation index. This product is used as a key reference index for UK index-linked securities and derivatives as well as being the reference for some benefit increases in defined benefit pensions entitlement.

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Incentive Exercises for Pensions : A Code of Good Practice

12 July 2012 A Code of Practice (produced by a broad industry Working Group with Government support: has been released on Incentive Exercises for Pensions. Whilst the Code is voluntary in nature the Minister of Pensions, Steve Webb, has stated that he “expects all employers to voluntarily follow the Code” but does not rule out future legislation in this area though it is hoped that this is not necessary.

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