Atkin trustees, actuaries, consultants & administrators

Current Issues - May 2016

TPR Funding Statement 2016: TPR has issued its annual statement aimed at schemes undertaking valuations between 22 September 2015 and 21 September 2016. Whilst not prescriptive, it gives some idea of TPRs thinking. This includes that, although deficits are expected to have increased compared to three years ago, the starting point for Trustees should be that the deficit is paid off over the same recovery period which will result in higher contributions. The onus will then be on the Sponsor to demonstrate that these recovery contributions are unaffordable or could, potentially, impede their future growth plans.

Brexit – The pensions angle: Whilst Brexit is unlikely to mean any significant changes to pension legislation, the possibility of Brexit has caused a lot of volatility in investment markets. Whilst many are predicting that the vote will be to stay, Schemes may want to discuss with their investment managers what their exposure is to the significant downside risks in the event that the vote is to actually leave.

PPF Eligibility – European Sponsors: From 6 April, DB schemes with a sponsoring employer whose ‘centre of main interests’ is outside the UK but within the EU will be eligible for the PPF.

BHS – a pensions saga in the making: The collapse of BHS leaving its two DB schemes with a buy-out deficit of c £570m has started a wave of investigations. These may ultimately result in the Pensions Regulator taking a tougher stance, particularly, where schemes have long recovery plans.

The Government has a track record of, arguably, over-reacting to pension crises that receive a lot of press coverage. We hope that their reaction is more considered this time around.

 

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We have worked with Atkin Trustees for many years on a wide range of cases and issues. They adopt a sensibly practical approach to trusteeship, focusing on outcomes for members. They’re also a nice bunch of people to work with.

Philip W Sutton, Partner, Squire Sanders (UK) LLP