Atkin trustees, actuaries, consultants & administrators

Current issues - November 2015

Recovery of VAT on DB Schemes: the deadline for complying to the new VAT regime has been extended to the end of 2016 and HMRC have made three suggestions as to how compliance might be achieved. The tripartite agreement between the employer, sponsor and advisors still appears to be the most straightforward although there still needs to be more clarity as to what costs are then allowable for corporation tax (in particular investment management costs).

 

2014 ONS survey: contains interesting statistics from UK private sector DB Schemes, including the average contribution and commutation rates being used.

Pension rights for Civil Partners: The Court of Appeal has confirmed that the UK’s restrictions on only backdating equivalent benefits to December 2005 does not breach EU requirements.

Trustees and TKU requirements: The Pensions Regulator has published research on the skills and knowledge of pension scheme trustees.

The findings include:

·         significant gaps in knowledge levels with 51% of schemes with non-professional trustees believing that not all of the trustees had the requisite level of trustee knowledge and understanding (TKU).

·         schemes with professional trustees were more likely to be better governed and able to assess whether they are receiving value for money from their advisers

·         small schemes were less able to afford advisers and were less able to challenge their advice. Overall the majority of trustees rarely disagreed with their advisers

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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