Atkin trustees, actuaries, consultants & administrators

Current Issues - October 2017

Investment Consultancy – Formal investigation to take place: This is to consider whether the advice provided by investment consultants is impacted by potential conflicts of interest, whether there is sufficient transparency to allow customers to compare different investments accurately and whether existing consultants face too little competition due to barriers to market entry. The results of this investigation are not expected until 2019 and, therefore, Trustees may want to consider whether these are issues that apply to their own scheme and discuss with their advisors what they might do about it.

TPR - Driving up standards: TPR will be issuing target e-mails to Trustees, employers and advisers outlining the standards it expects them to meet, taking more enforcement action when schemes are not complying, and encouraging ‘sub-standard’ schemes to consolidate where appropriate. It might be sensible for Trustees to take a step back now and review their own governance arrangements and compliance with the latest legislation to ensure that it is as good as it can be.

ICO – Fees set to change: After GDPR comes into effect on 25 May 2018, ICO will charge data controllers a ‘data protection fee’ which will be used to fund their work.

Legal Entity Identifier: From 3 January 2018 pension schemes will need to obtain a Legal Entity Identifier from the London Stock Exchange if they hold investments that can be bought and sold directly on the stock-market. If you believe this might be the case, you should contact your investment adviser early.

Ability to recoup GMP overpayments: The Pensions Ombudsman has found in one case that, although it is appropriate for Trustees to reclaim overpayments made to members which have been discovered as part of a GMP reconciliation exercise, the six year limitation period under the Limitation Act 1980 applies from the date the error is first noticed, or could ‘with reasonable diligence’ have been discovered. For Schemes undertaking a GMP reconciliation, the implications of this case should be discussed with their advisors.

 

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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