Note from the (new!) Editor…
25 / 05 / 2016
A lot has happened in the world of pensions since you received our March 2016 bulletin – the most exciting development being of-course, my appointment as editor-in-chief!
Another (no less!) important development in the world of pensions has been the collapse of high street giant BHS, and the fall out relating to its underfunded pension schemes. No doubt you will have been gripped by the media’s coverage of this saga, not least by the unfolding involvement of the various stakeholders who have played a part to date. So many interesting points have been raised on this case and it has only just begun! One area which is close to home is the fact that the professional advisers (lawyers, accountants and actuaries) are being hauled up in front of the government’s specially constituted select committee to give evidence and ultimately assist in getting to the bottom of what exactly went on. Sir Philip Green actually takes centre stage next month when he is due to give evidence. It’s clear that government are looking at this case and its facts very closely and so this has the potential to be headline news for many months to come. Justin explores some of the issues further so I won’t try to steal his thunder.
Brexit also continues to create uncertainty across many industries, not just pensions. A great cloud of uncertainty lingers, with many decisions being stalled until the result of the referendum is known.
Clive imparts his wisdom on the workings of the proposed secondary annuity market. With HMRC estimating that 300,000 people will sell their annuities on the new open annuity market within the next two years, this is an area which government needs to get right from the outset.
The end of contracting-out has resulted in extra work for employers and trustees alike and I provide a review of what employers and trustees have been considering in light of the end of contracting-out.
Grace explores the ways in which fixed protection 2016 can help protect individuals from unexpected tax charges.
In addition to which, no bulletin would be complete without Clive’s Ready Reckoner. Clive has provided an up to date summary of what’s been happening in the industry (and what we can expect over the coming months), it’s all go!!
And last but not least, we’ve had confidence-inspiring words from the Bank of England’s chief economist who claims that “nobody understands pensions”… a presumption we enthusiastically rebut on behalf of ourselves and a number of other industry experts who we work alongside!
For further information on the topics raised in this article, please contact a member of the Pensions & Employee Benefits Team.