Atkin trustees, actuaries, consultants & administrators

Managing Regulatory Change

In terms of scheme governance, there is a constantly changing landscape of legislation and regulation, from within the UK and from Europe, that Trustees must assimilate and apply to ensure good practice. Some of the more recent issues that Trustees will need to consider are:

  • The new flexibility that will apply to DC schemes may make these arrangements more popular. Members with transfer values of more than £30,000 will need to obtain financial advice before transferring to a DC scheme. This raises issues about communication to members, whether the ceding scheme has any responsibility to ensure that the need to obtain financial advice is satisfied, the current cash equivalent transfer value basis used by the scheme, investment and funding.

  • Is your principal employer a branch of an overseas scheme or is the principal employer based overseas. Following the example of the Olympic Airlines case, would your scheme qualify for the PPF if the overseas company entered insolvency?

  • Are you ready for the end of contracting-out? NICO will not be tracking individual GMPs in the future and there is a relatively narrow window for pension schemes to reconcile their GMP records with those of the National Insurance office. Failure to act shortly could mean that the scheme faces problems in the future (e.g. members who have been told by NICO that the scheme holds a GMP liability for them but for whom you have no records or the scheme’s GMP amounts being very different to those recorded by NICO). This would make any future plan to buy-out benefits more troublesome.

  • The Pension Regulator’s ‘Code of Practice 13’ on the Governance of occupational trust based Defined Contribution schemes extends to DB schemes if they have any DC element, which for many will usually be AVCs. Trustees should take a considered and proportionate approach to ensuring that members with AVCs are receiving value for money and are given clear and appropriate information about investments, charges and choices, both now and at retirement.
  • TPRs new code of practice on funding DB schemes focuses on Trustees having an integrated approach to covenant review, investment risk and funding whilst having consideration for the employer’s plans to sustain growth into the future.

With our previous advisors we very rarely went to them for consultation advice, as we had little faith in them. We tended to use solicitors, and to that extent the cost to the Company has been significantly reduced, and we are very happy with Atkin & Co’s approach and guidance here. We are all more than happy with our move to Atkin & Co.

Paul, Administration and Actuarial client