Publication history

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Title Description Date Added
BN207 - RPI Reform Consultation response RPI reform to go ahead as proposed but not before 2030 1/12/2020
BN206 - GMP equalisation transfers GMP equalisation – latest ruling on transfers 24/11/2020
BN205 - RPI reform update Briefing note – RPI Consultation Response Expected 17/11/2020
BN204 - PPF 21-22 consultation The 2021/22 Pension Protection Levy Consultation 10/11/2020
BN203 - Furlough extended for the winter Furlough extended for the Winter 7/11/2020
BN202 – Furlough, back for one month only? After an eventful weekend that held a hastily brought forward briefing from the Prime Minister, England now approaches a second period of lockdown commencing Thursday 5 November. The lockdown will last for an initial period of four weeks, ending on 2 December. 6/11/2020
BN201 - What are the latest changes to the Job Support Scheme? Under increasing pressure to do more, the Chancellor announced significant changes to the Job Support Scheme (JSS) which is due to launch in place of the Furlough Scheme from 1 November 2020. 30/10/2020
BN200 - An update on accounting for pensions As we enter the final quarter of 2020, the attention of many companies turns to their financial year end with the setting of budgets for 2021 and beyond. How are things looking for defined benefit pension schemes? 27/10/2020
BN199 - What is the expansion to the Job Support Scheme? Following the announcement of the Job Support Scheme (JSS) which focussed strongly upon providing support only to jobs that remained ‘viable’, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced further measures to support businesses that need to close due to coronavirus restrictions over the coming weeks and months. 26/10/2020
Trustee Academy We know it can be challenging for trustees, and others with responsibilities for pension matters, to get up to speed with the required knowledge following their appointment – and to maintain that knowledge against a backdrop of ever-changing pension legislation. So we created the Broadstone Academy, a free resource for pension scheme trustees. 15/10/2020
BN198 - Job Support Scheme The Job Support Scheme (JSS) was announced within the Chancellor’s Winter Economy Plan as a successor to the furlough scheme, which is due to wind up at the end of October. 28/9/2020
BN197 - Winter Economy Plan After cancelling the planed Autumn Budget in the face of the ongoing coronavirus challenge, the Chancellor made clear in his Winter Economy Plan that the problem being tackled is different now than it was in March with the first wave of economic intervention and support 25/9/2020
Market Pulse August 2020 A market commentary for periods to 31 August 2020. 16/9/2020
Investment Update: 2020 Q2 Our Quarter 2 2020 Investment Update provides key economic data and market performance statistics for periods to 30 June 2020. 30/7/2020
BN196 - Government announces £30bn fiscal stimulus package Building on previous announcements from the Government to help businesses weather the Covid-19 pandemic, The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, announced a further range of measures in his Economic Update on 8th July 2020. 10/7/2020
BN195 - Further changes to SIP requirements for Trustees This briefing note summarises what Trustees need to do in light of the new investment regulations that will come into force from 1 October 2020. 26/6/2020
BN194 - New guidance from The Pensions Regulator The Pensions Regulator has updated its guidance on its regulation of pension schemes which will come into force from 1 July 2020. This Briefing Note summarises the changes and key areas for Trustees and employers to focus on the foreseeable future. 25/6/2020
BN193 - What lasting impact will the pandemic have on scheme funding? The impact of COVID-19 on pension schemes from the macro-economic issues is perhaps more clearly understood. However, it will also impact on the mortality assumption in the scheme. The below “long-read” Technical Note is a helpful primer in the potential issues presented by the pandemic and how your Scheme Actuary may approach this challenge. 23/6/2020
The latest Market Pulse is here The rebound in equity markets extended into May as lockdown restrictions were gradually eased across the world in light of a steady decline in daily death tolls resulting from COVID-19 ('coronavirus'). 9/6/2020
BN192 - How will Flexible Furlough impact pensions? With the detail around the extension to the Furlough scheme now released, what are the pension impacts of Flexible Furlough? Our latest briefing note provides an insight into the governments updated plans. 2/6/2020
Further updates regarding our Administration Services Further to our latest update on 20 April regarding our business continuity and working practices, we wanted to provide you with an update on how our administration teams are working remotely to continue to provide a high-quality service. 20/5/2020
BN191 - What does the furlough scheme extension look like? Following the Chancellor's welcomed announcement for businesses, our latest briefing note explores what the extension to the furlough scheme looks like. 18/5/2020
Pension Hot Topics The latest seasonal summary of the Pension Hot Topics . 7/5/2020
Annual Funding Statement The Pension Regulator's latest Annual Funding Statement comes amid the Coronavirus pandemic and as such is focussed on how schemes with pending actuarial valuations should approach those considerations with advisers and sponsors. Read our summary of the key points and The Pension Regulator's expectations. 1/5/2020
Investment update - 2020 Quarter 1 Our Quarter 1 2020 Investment Update provides key economic data and market performance statistics for periods to 31 March 2020. 29/4/2020
Keeping you up to date with our administration services Further to our latest update on 18 March regarding our business continuity and working practices, we wanted to provide you with an update to how our administration teams are working remotely to continue to provide a high quality service. 20/4/2020
New easements from The Pensions Regulator The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is working hard to ensure schemes are able to focus on the key risks and issues during this time. TPR issued two pieces of additional guidance before Easter. 15/4/2020
Furlough and pension salary sacrifice Over the weekend the government has issued further detail around the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which provide further insights into the additional complexities posed where salary sacrifice schemes are in operation. Read our briefing note that updates employers on some of the key issues that will need to be considered. 7/4/2020
Support and guidance for DB schemes On Friday 27 March The Pensions Regulator issued their latest set of guidance for Sponsors and Trustees when addressing some of the key challenges caused by the coronavirus crisis. Our latest briefing note provides an overview of the guidance and what actions Trustees and Sponsors should be considering. 31/3/2020
Furlough and pension contributions The government have issued further detail around furloughed employees under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Please click on the link below to read our briefing note for employers around how this impacts pension contributions. 31/3/2020
BN184 - Liability Driven Investment Funds - impact of recent market volatility Movements in interest rates and inflation expectations will cause the value of Liability Driven Investments to change. Depending on market movements pension schemes may be asked to contribute cash to maintain their hedge, or receive a cash distribution. Our note considers why this happens, and what Trustees should be prepared for in this period of market volatility. 27/3/2020
BN183 - COVID-19 support and guidance for Trustees and employers The incredibly fast-moving coronavirus situation is developing day by day and this short note is to highlight the latest events that will have an impact on the pensions sector. 24/3/2020
Market Update & Considerations for Trustees of DB pension schemes The volatility witnessed in investment markets and uncertainties around the societal impacts of COVID-19 are unprecedented in modern times. We want to share with you our thoughts on the areas we believe it is helpful for Trustees of defined benefit schemes to be considering. 19/3/2020
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Administration Update An update to the factsheet we issued earlier in March, which confirms our approach to pensions administration service delivery in light of the latest Government guidance. 18/3/2020
BN182 - Budget summary March 2020 The 2020 Budget was dominated by major issues affecting society, coronavirus being the key focus, with the vast majority of the Budget taken up with a £30bn fiscal stimulus to deal with that. However, there were a number of relevant pensions matters to understand. 13/3/2020
BN181 - The Pensions Regulator's new DB funding code The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has begun the consultation process to to establish a new code of practice for DB funding by the end of this year. 12/3/2020
Coronavirus - administration update A factsheet on our mitigation plans should a Coronavirus infection impact on our administration service at one of our offices. 5/3/2020
Market Update (4 March 2020) - coronavirus In this note we provide an overview of the effects of the coronavirus on financial markets, the impact on the global economy, consider possible policy responses and what are the considerations for investors. 4/3/2020
Investment update - 2019 Quarter 4 Our 2019 Quarter 4 Investment Update provides key economic data and market performance statistics for periods to 31 December 2019. 3/2/2020
Pension Hot Topics Winter 2020 The latest seasonal summary of the Pension Hot Topics can be accessed below. In this issue we cover: Pension Schemes Bill, Budget 2020, DC annual benefit statements, Mortality improvements and ESG developments   Other topics are also summarised together with our On the radar section looking ahead to what we could expect in 2020. 24/1/2020
BN180 - The 2020/21 Pension Protection Levy Consultation The Board of the Pension Protection Fund (the “PPF”) published its Determination for the PPF Levy for the 2020/21 levy year on 16 December 2019. An associated Policy Statement sets out the outcome of the recent consultation and the technical changes that have been made. None of these technical changes are expected to be material in an overall sense, although some will impact on individual schemes. In particular, the proposed recalibration of the PPF-specific insolvency model for 2021/22 may affect the following year’s Levy. This briefing note summarises the key aspects of the 2020/21 PPF levy Determination. 20/1/2020
Countdown to GMP equalisation Whilst the impact of GMP equalisation is unlikely to increase a scheme's liabilities by a significant amount it is likely to be a substantial and lengthy project for a scheme. There still remains many unknowns, with further clarification on transfers not expected until at the earliest 2020, and it is unlikely that many schemes will have started the exercise. With most schemes waiting for the bigger schemes to take the first plunge. 26/11/2019
RPI Update: November 2019 In September 2019 there were two important announcements regarding the Retail Prices Index (RPI); one from the Chancellor of the exchequer and one from the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA). These announcements were in response to an earlier inquiry by the House of Lords where they concluded that RPI is not an appropriate measure for UK inflation. The UK Statistics Authority (UKSA) were asked to look at improvements to the index because the long term use of a flawed index was viewed as untenable. 15/11/2019
Briefing note - Pension Schemes Bill 2019 The government has finally found the legislative time and space to issue a Pension Schemes Bill and while it is a major piece of legislation with some very important new regulations it is also notable for what didn't make it. 8/11/2019
Investment Update - 2019 Quarter 3 Update providing key economic data and market performance statistics for periods to 30 September 2019. 30/10/2019
Bulk Annuity Market Update - Q2 2019 BBS regularly analyses the pricing of bulk annuities, using information provided to us by leading insurers. This Bulk Annuity Market Update covers the six months ending 30 June 2019. 15/10/2019
BN179 - TPR Guidance on Engaging with Investment Consultants and Fiduciary Managers Further to the investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority into the investment consultancy and fiduciary management services, the Pensions Regulator has now issued draft guidance to trustees on engaging with investment consultants and fiduciary managers. This briefing note discusses the main aspects of the guidance. 17/9/2019
BN178 - Future of Trustee Governance The Pensions Regulator has launched a consultation, “Future of trusteeship and governance” with proposals on ways to improve the governance standards of all occupational pension schemes. 21/8/2019
Investment Update - 2019 Quarter 2 Update providing key economic data and market performance statistics for periods to 30 June 2019. 29/7/2019
BN177 - Scheme Funding Analysis 2019 The Pensions Regulator has published its analysis of actuarial valuations with effective dates in the year to 21 September 2017. The analysis covers valuations submitted to the Regulator by 31 January 2019 and builds on previous analyses (see BBS briefing note 156, which covered the first ten years of the Statutory Funding Objective (SFO)). 3/7/2019
BN 176 - CMA Reform Order Further to the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) investigation into investment consultancy and fiduciary management services, the CMA has now issued a legally-binding Order to implement the solutions to improve competition. This briefing note covers the changes that are being implemented. 19/6/2019
BN 175 - New Investment Regulations Following last year’s changes to the regulations that relate to the investment of occupational pension scheme assets, the Government has made further changes with relatively little consultation or publicity. The 2019 Regulations will require further changes to be made to Statements of Investment Principles by 1 October 2020. In addition, defined benefit pension schemes will need to make their SIP available online from 1 October 2020, and all schemes will need to publish an annual statement of how they implement the policies set out in their SIP from 1 October 2021. This briefing note summarises the additional duties required in light of these new regulations. 17/6/2019
Bulk Annuity Market Update - Q1 2019 BBS regularly analyses the pricing of bulk annuities, using information provided to us by leading insurers. This Bulk Annuity Market Update covers the six months ending 31 March 2019. 10/6/2019
Investment Update - 2019 Quarter 1 Update providing key economic data and market performance statistics for periods to 31 March 2019. 29/5/2019
BN174 - Guidance on the use of Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) conversion legislation BBS briefing Note 174 provides a brief summary of the guidance recently issued by the Department for Work and Pensions on the use of Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) conversion legislation. 15/5/2019
BN173 - Annual Funding Statement 2019 The Pensions Regulator has recently issued the annual defined benefit funding statement for 2019. The statement is particularly aimed at trustees and employers undertaking valuations with effective dates between 22 September 2018 and 21 September 2019. 9/4/2019
Investment update - 2018 Quarter 4 Update providing key economic data and market performance statistics for periods to 31 December 2018. 2/4/2019
New really fun trustee agenda New really fun trustee agenda that has something to do with pensions 29/1/2019
BN172 - Final report of CMA investigation into investment consultancy services On 12 December 2018, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published its final report on its market investigation into investment consultancy and fiduciary management services. This followed a referral from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in September 2017, in response to their study into the workings of the asset management industry, and the CMA’s provisional findings in July 2018 (see BBS briefing notes 155 and 168). 19/12/2018
Bulk Annuity Market Update - Q3 2018 Each quarter, BBS analyses the pricing of bulk annuities, using information provided to us by leading insurers. This Bulk Annuity Market Update covers the three months ending 30 September 2018. 7/12/2018
BN171 - The 2019/20 Pension Protection Levy Consultation The Board of the Pension Protection Fund (the “PPF”) has released the draft Determination for the PPF Levy for the 2019/20 levy year. An associated Consultation document sets out some proposals on a small number of technical changes on which feedback is being sought. 20/11/2018
Investment update - 2018 Quarter 3 Update providing key economic data and market performance statistics for periods to 30 September 2018. 23/10/2018
BN170 - Consultation on Trustees’ Investment Duties – Government Response The Government has issued its response to the consultation on the June 2018 draft regulations to ‘clarify and strengthen trustees’ investment duties’ in relation to trust-based pension schemes. The proposals were summarised in BBS briefing note 167. This briefing note summarises the results of the consultation and the practical steps required in light of the new regulations. 18/10/2018
BN169 - Protecting Defined Benefit Pension Schemes – A Stronger Pensions Regulator The White Paper in March 2018 outlined proposals to improve the protection of Defined Benefit (DB) pension schemes. The main proposals related to a strengthening of the Regulator’s powers and the DB funding regime. The proposals were summarised in BBS briefing note 166. The Government committed to provide more detail against each area of the White Paper and the first Consultation covering the strengthening of the Regulator’s powers has recently been issued.This briefing note summarises the main proposals in the Consultation. 31/8/2018
Bulk Annuity Market Update - Q2 2018 Each quarter, BBS analyses the pricing of bulk annuities, using information provided to us by leading insurers.This Bulk Annuity Market Update covers the three months ending 30 June 2018. 21/8/2018
Investment update - 2018 Quarter 2 Update providing key economic data and market performance statistics for periods to 30 June 2018. 27/7/2018
BN168 - CMA investigation into investment consultancy and fiduciary management services On 18 July 2018, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published its provisional report on its market investigation into investment consultancy and fiduciary management services. This followed a referral from the Financial Conduct Authority in September 2017, in response to their study into the workings of the asset management industry (see BBS briefing note 155).The CMA’s provisional conclusion is that there are issues that have an adverse impact on competition in both the investment consultancy and fiduciary management markets. However, the CMA has greater concerns about fiduciary management than the investment consultancy market generally.This briefing note summarises the findings of the investigation and the proposed remedies, along with our view on the report’s proposals. 26/7/2018
BN167 - DWP Consultation on Clarifying and Strengthening Trustees’ Investment Duties In June 2018, the Department for Work and Pensions published a consultation on draft regulations to ‘clarify and strengthen trustees’ investment duties’ in relation to occupational pension schemes.The draft regulations are primarily focussed on clarifying the use of environmental, social and corporate governance criteria in selecting investments.This briefing note summarises the main proposals and provides our views. 23/7/2018
Bulk Annuity Market Update - Q1 2018 Each quarter, BBS analyses the pricing of bulk annuities, using information provided to us by leading insurers.This Bulk Annuity Market Update covers the three months ending 31 March 2018. 13/6/2018
BN166 - DWP White Paper - Protecting Defined Benefit Pension Schemes The Department for Work and Pensions published a White Paper in March 2018 setting out proposals to improve the protection of defined benefit (DB) pension schemes in the UK. The proposals are designed to support the Regulator’s ambition to be clearer, quicker and tougher in its regulation of DB pension schemes.The main proposals relate to a strengthening of the Regulator’s powers and the DB funding regime, although the White Paper also sets out some proposals in relation to pension scheme consolidation.This briefing note summarises the main proposals. 8/5/2018
BN165 - Annual Funding Statement 2018 The Pensions Regulator has recently issued the annual defined benefit funding statement for 2018. The statement is particularly aimed at trustees and employers undertaking valuations with effective dates between 22 September 2017 and 21 September 2018. The statement is more “technical” than previous annual statements and continues the Regulator’s key themes of integrated risk management and contingency planning. In particular, the statement focuses on the actions the Regulator expects trustees to have taken and stresses the actions it may take under its “clearer, quicker, tougher” approach to monitoring funding valuations.This briefing note summarises the statement. 27/4/2018
Investment update - 2018 Quarter 1 Update providing key economic data and market performance statistics for periods to 31 March 2018. 25/4/2018
BN164 - Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism - New Obligations on Pension Trustees HMRC has issued guidance regarding the duties of trustees in relation to revised money laundering and financing of terrorism regulations that came into effect in the UK in 2017.This briefing note provides a summary of the general requirements for trustees, so that they can be factored into schemes' future business plans. 6/3/2018
Bulk Annuity Market Update - Q4 2017 Each quarter, BBS analyses the pricing of bulk annuities, using information provided to us by leading insurers.This Bulk Annuity Market Update covers the three months ending 31 December 2017. 16/2/2018
BBS Viewpoint (February 2018) - Are equity markets overpriced? The latest BBS Viewpoint provides commentary on equity market prices in the context of strong returns produced with very low levels of volatility during the past couple of years. 5/2/2018
Investment update - 2017 Quarter 4 Update providing key economic data and market performance statistics for periods to 31 December 2017. 24/1/2018
Bulk Annuity Market Update - Q3 2017 Each quarter, BBS analyses the pricing of bulk annuities, using information provided to us by leading insurers.This Bulk Annuity Market Update covers the three months ending 30 September 2017. 21/11/2017
BN163 - Pension Scheme Costs and VAT HMRC has been reviewing its policy in relation to the reclamation of VAT on the costs associated with running occupational pension schemes. Since it was first announced that changes to the current VAT arrangements would be implemented, the effective date of the changes was deferred from 31 December 2016 to 31 December 2017. HMRC has now provided updated guidance indicating that the current practice can be maintained, provided certain conditions are met.This Briefing Note summarises the updated guidance from HMRC. 20/11/2017
BN161 & BN162 - 2018/19 Pension Protection Fund Levy The Board of the Pension Protection Fund (“the PPF”) issued a consultation document in March 2017 setting out some proposed changes to the Levy Rules for the third triennium commencing from 2018/19. In a recent consultation document on the draft Determination for the third triennium, the PPF also confirmed the policy decisions taken in relation to the matters covered by the March consultation. In addition, the consultation document set out the draft Levy Rules for the third triennium of the PPF Levy commencing from 2018/19. BBS briefing note 161 provides a summary of the policy decisions taken in relation to the consultation earlier this year and BBS briefing note 162 provides a summary of the draft Levy Rules for the next triennium. 24/10/2017
Investment Update - 2017 Quarter 3 Update providing key economic data and market performance statistics for periods to 30 September 2017. 20/10/2017
BN160 - Proposed Changes to IFRIC 14 and the Effect on UK Company Balance Sheets under IAS 19 The International Accounting Standards Board has been consulting on possible changes to IFRIC 14, which applies to entities accounting for defined benefit pension costs using IAS 19. Specifically, IFRIC 14 deals with the limits on defined benefit assets that can be taken into account on Balance Sheets, allowing for future recovery plan payments to which an employer may be committed, and the interaction between the two. Should the latest proposals be adopted there could be significant effects on UK Company Balance Sheets.This Briefing Note summarises the proposals and examines their impact. 9/10/2017
BN159 - Scheme Funding Statistics - The Regulator's Analysis of Valuations and Recovery Plans The Pensions Regulator has recently published its analysis of valuations and Recovery Plans relating to actuarial valuations with effective dates in the year to 21 September 2015. The analysis covers valuations submitted to the Regulator by 31 January 2017 and builds on previous annual reports which covered the first nine years of the Statutory Funding Objective.This briefing note summarises the findings. 18/9/2017
BN158 - Monetary Penalties Policy Following a consultation exercise earlier in the year the Pensions Regulator has finalised its policy on how it will use its powers to impose monetary penalties under pensions legislation. BBS Briefing Note 151 summarised the consultation and the key areas the Regulator was seeking views on from interested parties.This briefing note sets out a summary of the Monetary Penalties Policy. 6/9/2017
BN157 - When is a Trustee a Professional Trustee? Following a consultation exercise earlier this year the Pensions Regulator has finalised its policy on when a trustee is deemed to be a professional trustee and has summarised this in a document entitled “Professional trustee description policy”.This briefing note sets out a summary of the professional trustee description policy. 21/8/2017
BBS Viewpoint (July 2017) - Managing cash flows in maturing DB schemes This BBS Viewpoint discusses the importance of understanding the cash-flow profile of your DB scheme, and how this can help trustees and sponsoring employers implement appropriate investment strategies and recovery plans. 31/7/2017
Investment Update - 2017 Quarter 2 Update providing key economic data and market performance statistics for periods to 30 June 2017. 26/7/2017
BN156 - Supreme Court Judgement - Walker v Innospec On 12 July 2017 the Supreme Court gave its judgement in Walker v Innospec and others. The case centred on the right to survivor benefits in respect of same-sex couples who are either married or registered as civil partners, and whether benefits should be restricted so that they only reflect pensionable service after 5 December 2005. The Supreme Court overturned a previous Court of Appeal decision and ruled that the restriction to post 5 December 2015 service is unlawful.This briefing note sets out a summary of the judgement. 21/7/2017
BN155 - FCA Asset Management Market Study On 28 June 2017, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published its final report following a major study into the workings of the asset management industry.The FCA’s report highlights a range of concerns on price competition, value for money for investors, clarity on the objectives and performance of funds, as well as raising issues about the operation of the investment consultancy market.This BBS briefing note summarises the study and its conclusions, together with our view on the key findings. 14/7/2017
BN154 - Annual Funding Statement 2017 The Pensions Regulator has recently issued the annual defined benefit funding statement for 2017. The statement is particularly aimed at trustees and employers undertaking valuations with effective dates between 22 September 2016 and 21 September 2017. It highlights the key issues the Regulator sees for the 2017 round of valuations and stresses its related guidance on integrated risk management, assessing employer covenant, DB Investment and Code of Practice 3 on funding, all of which the Regulator expects trustees to take into account for such valuations.This briefing note summarises the statement. 8/6/2017
BN153 - General Data Protection Regulation The European General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) was adopted on 27 April 2017 and will replace the UK’s Data Protection Act 1988 upon its implementation on 25 May 2018. This briefing note sets out a summary of the key aspects of the legislation. 7/6/2017
Investment Update - 2017 Quarter 1 Update providing key economic data and market performance statistics for periods to 31 March 2017. 24/4/2017
BN152 - Investment Guidance for Defined Benefit Pension Schemes On 30th March 2017, the Pensions Regulator issued guidance for trustees and advisers of defined benefit (‘DB’) pension schemes. The guidance sets out the Regulator’s view of the issues that need to be addressed in setting, implementing and developing an investment strategy for a DB scheme.This briefing note sets out a summary of the key aspects of the guidance. 6/4/2017
BN151 - Draft Monetary Penalties Policy and Revised Professional Trustee Description The Pensions Regulator has issued a consultation document setting out its draft policy on monetary penalties and a revised description of what constitutes a professional trustee.This briefing note sets out a summary of the consultation. 5/4/2017
BN150 - The Third PPF Levy Triennium The Board of the Pension Protection Fund (the PPF) has recently issued a consultation document setting out proposed changes to the Levy Rules, i.e. the rules that govern how the levy is charged to individual schemes, for the three years from 2018.This BBS briefing note sets out a summary of the proposals. 31/3/2017
BN149 - The Tapered Annual Allowance and Scheme Pays The 2016/17 tax year is the first year in which certain high earners will be subject to the tapered Annual Allowance. This briefing note looks at some of the potential complications where members are subject to an Annual Allowance charge and elect for the scheme to meet the charge under a Scheme Pays arrangement. 28/2/2017
Investment Update - 2016 Quarter 4 Update providing key economic data and market performance statistics for periods to 31 December 2016 31/1/2017
BBS Viewpoint (December 2016) - Defined Contribution Pension Schemes - What Next? The latest BBS Viewpoint looks at some of the current key issues for Defined Contribution pension schemes, and considers the potential market changes that may be seen in the coming years. 19/12/2016
BN148 - Integrated Risk Management The Pensions Regulator has recently issued a quick guide to setting an Integrated Risk Management plan which is specifically designed for smaller schemes with limited resources.This BBS Briefing Note provides a summary of the guide. 8/12/2016
Investment Update - 2016 Quarter 3 Update providing key economic data and market performance statistics for periods to 30 September 2016 31/10/2016
BN147 - The 2017/18 Pension Protection Levy Consultation The Board of the Pension Protection Fund (the “PPF”) has released the draft Determination for the PPF Levy for the 2017/18 levy year. An associated Consultation document sets out some proposals on certain technical changes on which feedback is being sought.This BBS Briefing Note provides a summary of the proposals. 27/10/2016
Investment Update - 2016 Quarter 2 Update providing key economic data and market performance statistics for periods to 30 June 2016 29/7/2016
BN146 - EU Referendum - The Pensions Regulator's Guidance The Pensions Regulator has recently published guidance for trustees of occupational pension schemes, following the vote for the United Kingdom to leave the EU.The guidance sets out the Regulator’s current views on the main areas where leaving the EU may have an impact, including any possible impact on the Regulator itself. 28/7/2016
BN145 - Integrated Risk Management Integrated Risk Management is an important tool for managing the risks associated with scheme funding, and features prominently in Code of Practice 3: Funding defined benefits. The Regulator has separately issued regulatory guidance providing practical help on what a proportionate and integrated approach to risk management might look like.This BBS briefing note provides a brief summary of the guidance. 17/6/2016
BN144 - Scheme Funding Statistics The Pensions Regulator has recently published its analysis of valuations and Recovery Plans relating to actuarial valuations with effective dates in the year to 21 September 2014. The analysis covers valuations submitted to the regulator by 31 January 2016 and builds on previous annual reports which covered the first eight years of the Statutory Funding Objective. 14/6/2016
BN143 - Annual Defined Benefit Funding Statement 2016 The Pensions Regulator has recently issued the annual defined benefit funding statement for 2016. This is particularly aimed at trustees and employers undertaking valuations with effective dates between 22 September 2015 and 21 September 2016 (2016 valuations).The Statement includes the Regulator’s views on current market conditions underpinning 2016 valuations and highlights key principles from Code of Practice 3 on funding, which the Regulator expects trustees to take into account for such valuations. The Regulator has also issued an accompanying analysis of the key factors affecting funding positions and recovery plans for 2016 valuations, in support of the conclusions in the Statement. 20/5/2016
Investment Update - 2016 Quarter 1 Update providing key economic data and market performance statistics for periods to 31 March 2016 29/4/2016
BN142 - Changes to Lifetime Allowance and Annual Allowance - An Update The Lifetime Allowance reduces to £1 million from 6 April 2016 and HMRC has been finalising the arrangements for individuals seeking to protect their pension savings from this reduction. From the same date, changes are also being made to the Annual Allowance with the introduction of a tapered reduction to the Annual Allowance for individuals with adjusted annual income in excess of £150,000.Over recent months, HMRC has clarified some of the procedures surrounding these changes and this BBS briefing note provides an update of the current position. 5/4/2016
BN141 - Information Requirements following the introduction of the Tapered Annual Allowance In the Summer Budget 2015, the Chancellor announced various changes to the operation of the Annual Allowance to apply from April 2016. These changes were summarised in BBS briefing note 136.A key issue that remained to be clarified was the obligations on trustees to provide information to members and HMRC where the Annual Allowance was exceeded. Information on these obligations has recently been provided in draft regulations (The Registered Pension Schemes – Provision of Information) (Amendment) Regulations 2016.This briefing note summarises the proposed changes. 10/2/2016
Investment Update - 2015 Quarter 4 Update providing key economic data and market performance statistics for periods to 31 December 2015 29/1/2016
BN140 - Draft Code of Practice 13 The Pensions Regulator has issued a draft Code of Practice intended to apply to trustees of all occupational trust-based defined contribution (DC) schemes, as well as DC arrangements, such as AVC policies, within defined benefit (DB) schemes. The Code sets out the administration and governance standards that the Regulator expects trustee boards to follow and will replace the previous version of the Code introduced in November 2013. Whilst the revised Code is not expected to be in force until July 2016, trustees should take action now to ensure they are complying with the new standards.The draft Code has six sections, which are summarised in this briefing note. 7/1/2016
BN139 - Lifetime Allowance Protection 2016 The Lifetime Allowance (LTA) reduces to £1 million with effect from 6 April 2016 and HMRC has advised that protection from this reduction will be made available in due course. These protections will be known as Fixed Protection 2016 and Individual Protection 2016 and are expected to be similar to those that applied in 2014 when the LTA was last reduced. However, full details on the operation of these protections are not yet available.This BBS briefing note summarises the current state of play in relation to the protections. 14/12/2015
Investment Update - 2015 Quarter 3 Update providing key economic data and market performance statistics for periods to 30 September 2015 28/10/2015
BN138 - The 2016/17 Pension Protection Levy Consultation The Board of the Pension Protection Fund (the “PPF”) has released the draft Determination for the PPF Levy for the 2016/17 levy year. An associated Consultation document sets out some proposals on certain technical changes on which feedback is being sought, none of which are expected to be material in an overall sense (although they could impact on individual schemes affected by any change).This BBS briefing note provides a summary of the proposals for next year’s levy. 14/10/2015
BN137 - Regulatory Guidance: Assessing and monitoring the employer covenant The Pensions Regulator has recently issued Regulatory Guidance in relation to defined benefit (DB) schemes titled Assessing and monitoring the employer covenant. The Regulator's definition of the employer covenant (consistent with the code of practice on DB scheme funding) is the extent of the employer's legal obligation and financial ability to support the funding needs and investment risks of the scheme now and in the future.This BBS Briefing Note summarises the Regulator's guidance. 27/8/2015
BN136 - Summer Budget 2015: Tapered Annual Allowance and changes to Pension Input Periods In the recent Budget the Chancellor announced that, from April 2016, there will be a tapered reduction in the Annual Allowance for individuals with incomes of more than £150,000 a year.Perhaps more significantly for individuals, Pension Input Periods for all pension arrangements in the UK are to be aligned with the tax year from 2016/17, in order to ensure the new tapered AA requirements work as intended. Transitional arrangements will apply for the 2015/16 tax year.This BBS Briefing Note summarises the changes proposed (with an emphasis on DB schemes). 26/8/2015
Investment Update - 2015 Quarter 2 Update providing key economic data and market performance statistics for periods to 30 June 2015 31/7/2015
BN135 - Annual Defined Benefit Funding Statement 2015 The Pensions Regulator has recently issued the annual defined benefit (DB) funding statement for 2015. The statement is particularly aimed at trustees and employers undertaking valuations with effective dates between 22 September 2014 and 21 September 2015 (2015 valuations).The statement includes the Regulator’s views on current market conditions for schemes carrying out 2015 valuations and sets out a number of key messages that the Regulator expects trustees to take into account for such valuations. It also draws out a number of key themes arising from the revised Code of Practice on funding issued last summer.This BBS briefing note summarises the statement. 26/5/2015
BN134 - The Regulator’s Analysis of Valuations and Recovery Plans The Pensions Regulator has published its analysis of valuations and Recovery Plans relating to actuarial valuations with effective dates in the year to 21 September 2013. The analysis covers valuations submitted to the Regulator by 31 January 2015 and builds on a previous report issued by the Regulator (see BBS briefing note 122) which covered the first seven years of the Statutory Funding Objective (SFO).This BBS briefing note summarises the findings. 25/5/2015
Investment Update - 2015 Q1 Update providing key economic data and market performance statistics for periods to 31 March 2015. 1/5/2015
BN133 - DB to DC Transfers and Conversions The Pensions Regulator has recently issued Regulatory Guidance covering “DB to DC transfers and conversions”. The Guidance has been prepared to assist trustees and managers of defined benefit (DB) pension schemes to manage transfer requests, following the introduction of the new DC flexibilities under the Pension Schemes Act 2015 (PSA 2015 - see BBS briefing note 132).This BBS briefing note summarises the Regulator’s guidance. 24/4/2015
BN131: The Occupational Pension Schemes (Charges and Governance) Regulations 2015 The Occupational Pension Schemes (Charges and Governance) Regulations 2015 will introduce a series of measures aimed at addressing high and unfair charges in qualifying occupational pension schemes that provide a money purchase benefit, and minimum governance standards for trustees and managers. The regulations will begin to come into force from 6 April 2015.This BBS briefing note summarises the key features of the regulations in relation to occupational money purchase pension schemes. 9/4/2015
BN132: Pension Schemes Act 2015 The Pensions Schemes Act 2015 received Royal Assent on 3 March 2015. The Act was originally designed to give effect to the new form of pension schemes under the banner of “defined ambition”, but has been extended to cover the flexibilities on drawing benefits from registered defined contribution (DC) arrangements introduced by the 2014 Budget.Previous BBS briefing notes have summarised the Budget changes and the associated Taxation of Pensions Act 2014. This BBS briefing note summarises the main features of the Pension Schemes Act 2015 (the Act). 9/4/2015
BN130 - New Statement of Recommended Practice The new Statement of Recommended Practice (“SORP”) on Financial Reports of Pension Schemes has been finalised following the issue of an exposure draft last year. The new SORP will become mandatory for accounting periods commencing on or after 1 January 2015, although it will also require a restatement of the opening position. BBS briefing note 125 set out the main proposals made under the exposure draft. This BBS briefing note summarises the changes made in the final SORP following the feedback received. 6/2/2015
Investment Update - 2014 Quarter 4 Update providing key economic data and market performance statistics for periods to 31 December 2014 29/1/2015
BN129 - The Taxation of Pensions Act 2014 The Taxation of Pensions Act 2014 sets out the changes to pensions taxation from April 2015 to allow for the flexibilities on drawing benefits from registered defined contribution arrangements introduced by the 2014 Budget. This BBS briefing note summarises the main features of the Act, which received Royal Assent on 17 December 2014. 21/1/2015
BN128 - The 2015/16 Pension Protection Levy The Board of the Pension Protection Fund (the PPF) has issued the Determination for the PPF Levy for the 2015/16 levy year. BBS briefing note 127 covered the consultation on the draft Determination and this BBS briefing note summarises the outcome of the consultation, including some changes to the insolvency model. 24/12/2014
Update: VAT Treatment of Investment Management Services HMRC has now reviewed how it intends to deal with VAT in relation to pension schemes. This may allow employers to reclaim VAT paid on pension scheme investment management charges. More concerning, is that the new rules cast doubt on the deductibility of charges in respect of other services such as actuarial, administration and legal services that have historically been treated as deductible for VAT by employers. Employers will need to take advice on how best to protect their VAT position. This update summarises the current position and will be of particular interest to finance directors. 8/12/2014
BBS Viewpoint (December 2014) - Pension Cost Accounting - Current Issues This BBS Viewpoint looks at pension cost accounting and considers some of the key issues faced by companies as they reach their accounting year-end. 1/12/2014
Investment Update - 2014 Quarter 3 Update providing key economic data and market performance statistics for periods to 30 September 2014 28/10/2014
BN127 - The 2015/16 Pension Protection Levy Consultation The Board of the Pension Protection Fund (the “PPF”) has released the draft Determination for the PPF Levy for the 2015/16 levy year. An associated Consultation document sets out the PPF’s response to its earlier consultation on its plans for the levy over the next three years. This BBS briefing note provides a summary of the proposals for next year’s levy and, by extension, the levy over the next three years. 20/10/2014
BN126 - Abolition of Defined Benefit Contracting-out - Statutory Override Earlier this year, the Department for Work & Pensions consulted on draft regulations covering the unilateral power for employers to amend their defined benefit (DB) schemes to take account of the abolition of contracting-out. This BBS briefing note provides a summary of the draft regulations. 9/10/2014
BN125 - Financial Reports of Pension Schemes - New Statement of Recommended Practice An exposure draft of the new Statement of Recommended Practice (“SORP”) on Financial Reports of Pension Schemes has been issued. The new SORP will become mandatory for accounting periods commencing on or after 1 January 2015. This BBS briefing note provides a summary of the new requirements being introduced. 23/9/2014
BN124 - Freedom and Choice in Pensions In the March 2014 Budget, the government announced a consultation of significant changes as to how Defined Contribution (DC) pension scheme members can access their pension savings upon retirement. An overview of these proposals was provided in BBS briefing note 117. In July 2014, the government published its response to the consultation and, in doing so, has largely finalised its proposed reforms. BBS briefing note 124 summarises the government's response and the key changes that will take effect from April 2015. 30/7/2014
Investment Update - 2014 Quarter 2 Update providing key economic data and market performance statistics for periods to 30 June 2014 23/7/2014
VAT Treatment of Investment Management Services A number of recent court cases have challenged how VAT payable on services provided to pension schemes may be treated by sponsoring employers. Two recent judgements in the Court of Justice of the European Union have led HMRC to instigate a review of how it deals with VAT in relation to pension schemes. This update summarises the current situation. 21/7/2014
BN123 - Code of Practice 3 - Funding Defined Benefits Following the consultation conducted earlier in the year, the Pensions Regulator has recently finalised Code of Practice 3, which has been laid before Parliament. The Code is essential reading for trustees, employers, and advisers, particularly when in the process of completing an actuarial valuation. BBS briefing note 113 provided a summary of the draft Code, and the main principles contained in the draft have been retained in the final document. BBS briefing note 123 provides a summary of the feedback received during the consultation and the changes made by the Regulator as a result. 10/7/2014
BN122 - The Regulator's Analysis of Recovery Plans The Pensions Regulator has published its analysis of Recovery Plans relating to actuarial valuations with effective dates in the year to 21 September 2012. The analysis covers Recovery Plans submitted to the Regulator by 31 January 2014 and builds on a previous report issued by the Regulator (see BBS Briefing Note 107) which covered the first six years of the Statutory Funding Objective. BBS Briefing Note 122 summarises the Regulator's findings. 4/7/2014
BN121 - Defined Benefit Annual Funding Statement 2014 The Pensions Regulator has issued a further annual Statement for trustees and employers with defined benefit pension schemes, in particular those who are undertaking actuarial valuations with effective dates between 22 September 2013 and 21 September 2014 (2014 valuations). The Statement includes the Regulator's views on current market conditions and sets out the key messages that the Regulator expects trustees to take into account. It also includes some comments on how the Regulator will be assessing schemes' valuations and prioritising schemes for further engagement. BBS briefing note 121 summarises the Statement. 13/6/2014
BN120 - Consultation on the second PPF Levy Triennium – Part 2 The Board of the Pension Protection Fund (the PPF) has recently issued a consultation setting out its plans for the pension protection levy over the next three years. The consultation proposes significant changes to the calculation of insolvency risk, following the appointment of Experian as insolvency risk provider, and the PPF’s main proposals in this regard were summarised in BBS briefing note 119. This BBS briefing note covers certain other proposals made in the consultation, not related to Experian, and should be read in conjunction with BBS briefing note 119. 2/6/2014
BN119 - Consultation on the second PPF Levy Triennium - Part 1 The Board of the Pension Protection Fund (the PPF) has recently issued a consultation setting out its plans for the pension protection levy over the next three years. The consultation proposes significant changes to the calculation of insolvency risk, following the appointment of Experian as insolvency risk provider (see BBS briefing note 118). There are also other changes to the levy calculation proposed in relation to Type A guarantees, last man standing schemes, and asset-backed contributions. This BBS briefing note (the first of two on this topic) summarises the main aspects of the consultation as it relates to insolvency risk. For a summary of the other proposed changes, please see BBS briefing note 120. 2/6/2014
BBS Viewpoint (June 2014) - Workplace Pensions and Retirement: A Changing Landscape The second BBS Viewpoint considers the changing face of workplace pension provision in the UK and suggests a few further developments we may see in the future. 1/6/2014
Investment Update - 2014 Quarter 1 Update providing key economic data and market performance statistics for periods to 31 March 2014 30/4/2014
BN118 - Insolvency Risk - The PPF switch from Dun & Bradstreet to Experian In March 2014, the Board of the Pension Protection Fund (the PPF) provided an update on the move to Experian, as the PPF’s chosen insolvency risk provider from the 2015/16 levy year. BBS briefing note 118 summarises the current position and flags the key issues to consider over the coming months. 30/4/2014
BN117 - The Budget 2014 The March 2014 Budget has been hailed as a Budget for Pensioners and Savers. It is fair to say that the impact on pension provision will be far-reaching. BBS briefing note 117 covers the key changes as far as pension schemes are concerned. 20/3/2014
BBS Viewpoint (March 2014) - Funding and Investment Strategy The first BBS Viewpoint looks at the last few years and asks, from the perspective of funding and investment strategy, what happens next? 1/3/2014
BN116 - Using Salary Exchange with a Workplace Pension Scheme Salary exchange (also commonly referred to as salary sacrifice) is an arrangement whereby an employee agrees to give up part of his or her future salary (or bonus) in return for payment of a non-cash benefit from the employer. This BBS briefing note focuses on salary exchange as it relates to pension schemes, i.e. where members give up salary in return for an additional employer pension contribution of an equivalent amount. 13/2/2014
BN115 - Retirement Transfers ‘Retirement Transfers’ are the latest in a long line of tools available to help de-risk defined benefit (DB) pension schemes. Unlike some other tools such as ‘Enhanced Transfer Value Exercises’ or ‘Buy-ins’, Retirement Transfers can result in benefits for all parties without necessarily increasing the risks or costs. As a consequence, Retirement Transfers are becoming increasingly popular. A recent industry seminar indicated that 80% of those present viewed Retirement Transfers as the most acceptable liability management tool for trustees, and 80% viewed them as the most desirable for employers. This BBS briefing note provides more information on Retirement Transfers. 13/2/2014
BN114 - Governance and Administration of Occupational Defined Contribution Trust-based Pension Schem The Pensions Regulator has published Code of Practice 13, which applies to the trustees of all occupational defined contribution (DC) pension schemes. The Code will also be of interest to employers, advisers and other parties involved with DC schemes. This BBS briefing note provides a summary of the Code 14/1/2014
BN113 - Consultation on new Code of Practice for DB Scheme Funding The Pensions Regulator has recently published for consultation a revised Code of Practice 3 covering the funding of defined benefits, along with associated documents setting out how the Regulator will regulate the defined benefit funding regime in the future. These documents will be of great interest to trustees, employers, advisers and other parties involved with DB schemes. This BBS briefing note provides a summary of the draft documents. 13/1/2014
BN112 - DB, DC or DA? The Department for Work & Pensions has recently issued a Public Consultation document entitled “Reshaping workplace pensions for future generations”, looking at how workplace pension schemes might be reshaped and reinvigorated.This BBS briefing note provides a very brief summary of the options being considered. 1/12/2013
BN111 - The 2014/15 Pension Protection Levy Consultation The Board of the Pension Protection Fund hasrecently issued the draft Determination for thePension Protection Levy for the 2014/15 levy year.The draft Determination sets out the parameters forthe levy, and an associated Consultation documentsets out the proposed changes to the levy structurethat applied for 2013/14.This BBS briefing note provides a summary of theproposals and the key components of next year’slevy. 1/9/2013
BN110 - Pensions De-Risking – Pension Increase Exchange Exercises Over the last decade or more, a key theme under occupational pension schemes has been de-risking. A lot of work has been carried out on the asset side of the equation, in particular with regard to liability-matching investment strategies and reducing interest rate and inflation risk. However, exercises have also been undertaken to de-risk the liabilities, and one such exercise, pension increase exchange (“PIE”), has gained in popularity over recent years.This BBS briefing note provides more information on PIE exercises. 1/9/2013
BN109 - Pensions Tax Relief – Individual Protection 2014 HM Revenue & Customs and the Treasury have recently issued a Consultation Document covering the detail and implementation of the individual protection regime, to accompany the reduction in the pensions lifetime allowance (“LTA”) from £1.5 million to £1.25 million from 6 April 2014.This BBS briefing note summarises the Consultation. 1/9/2013
BN108 - Automatic Transfers: Consolidating Pensions Savings The Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) hasrecently issued a paper entitled “Automatictransfers: consolidating pension savings”. This papersets out the Government’s plans for legislating on a“pot follows member” automatic transfer process,where people’s pension savings move with themwhen they change jobs.The paper sets out those features of the new systemwhere the Government has policy certainty, andhighlights its preferences on other aspects of thepolicy which are still subject to further thought andconsultation with interested parties.This BBS briefing note summarises the paper. 1/7/2013
BN107 - The Regulator’s Analysis of Recovery Plans The Pensions Regulator has published its analysis ofRecovery Plans relating to actuarial valuations witheffective dates in the year to 21 September 2011.The analysis covers Recovery Plans submitted to theRegulator by 31 March 2013 and builds on aprevious report issued by the Regulator (see BBSbriefing note 93) which covered the first five years ofthe Statutory Funding Objective (SFO).This BBS briefing note summarises the findings. 1/7/2013
BN106 - Defined Benefit Annual Funding Statement 2013 The Pensions Regulator has issued a Statement aimed at trustees and employers with defined benefit pension schemes, in particular those who are undertaking actuarial valuations with effective dates between September 2012 and September 2013 (2013 valuations).The Statement sets out the Regulator’s views on acceptable approaches to 2013 valuations in the light of current economic conditions, and follows up on the key messages included in the Regulator’s first such Statement in 2012.The Statement also signposts some further communications to be issued later in the year covering certain changes to the Regulator’s statutory objectives and guidance.This BBS briefing note summarises the Statement. 1/5/2013
BN105 - Pensions and Growth The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) hasissued the Government’s response to twoconsultation exercises on:? Whether to provide the Pensions Regulator witha new statutory objective to consider the longtermaffordability of deficit recovery plans tosponsoring employers; and? Whether to allow sponsoring employers tosmooth asset and liability values whenundergoing funding valuations.The background to these consultation exercises wasprovided in BBS briefing note 98.This BBS briefing note summarises the Government’sresponse. 1/5/2013
BN104 - GMP Equalisation In January 2012, the Department for Work andPensions issued a consultation on draft Regulationsamending the current equal treatment legislation inrelation to Guaranteed Minimum Pensions (GMPs).BBS briefing note 90 summarised this consultation.The DWP has now issued an interim response to itsconsultation, which ended in April 2012. The interimresponse confirms that, whilst the Government’sviews on the obligation to equalise GMPs betweenmen and women under contracted-out occupationalpension schemes are unchanged, the Governmentintends to take stock of the comments receivedunder the consultation and to consider whetherfurther guidance can be provided on howequalisation might be achieved in a less complicatedand expensive way than originally proposed.This BBS briefing note provides a brief overview ofthe interim response. 1/4/2013
BN103 - Technical Changes to Auto-enrolment Since the introduction of auto-enrolment, theGovernment has been gathering information fromemployers, pension schemes, advisers and payrollproviders about their experiences of implementingthe new duties in practice. As a result, theDepartment for Work and Pensions (DWP) hasissued a consultation on a number of proposedtechnical changes intended to improve theoperation of auto-enrolment.This BBS briefing note summarises the proposedchanges in the context of the current regulations. 1/4/2013
BN102 - The Single-tier State Pension In January 2013, the Minister of State for Pensions, Steve Webb, presented a paper to Parliament titled “The single-tier pension: a simple foundation for saving” setting out the background to the proposed reforms to state pension provision.The main component of the proposed reforms is the adoption of a single-tier pension of around £144 per week, in today’s earnings terms, to replace the current basic state and earnings related pensions.The paper indicated that the introduction of the single-tier pension was intended to be no earlier than April 2017. However, in his recent Budget, George Osborne announced that its implementation will be brought forward one year to April 2016.This BBS briefing note provides a brief overview of the proposed reforms. 1/4/2013
BN101 - Pension Liberation Fraud The Pensions Regulator has recently launched aninitiative to combat the increased activity witnessed,of members being encouraged to transfer theirpension rights with the promise of early access totheir funds. Such fraudulent arrangements are oftenreferred to as “pension liberation schemes” or “trustbusting”, and invariably result in significant loss andtax charges to the members, whilst paying a healthycommission or administration charge to theintermediary.This BBS briefing note summarises the backgroundto pension liberation, the warning signs to look outfor, and the actions trustees and scheme managersshould take to protect members from this practice. 1/3/2013
BN100 - NEST Insight – Taking the temperature of automatic enrolment Auto-enrolment – the new rules that require everyemployer to ensure that their employees who meetcertain age and earnings criteria are automaticallyentered into a suitable pension scheme (to whichthe employer also has to contribute), is being phasedin from October 2012 to February 2018. Whilst it isthe largest companies that are affected first, by theend of 2013 an estimated 6,000 employers will berequired to comply with the new requirements.In January 2013, the National Employment SavingsTrust (NEST - the pension scheme providerestablished by the government to ensure thateveryone has access to pension saving) released areport, which consolidated its insights taken fromfive years’ worth of quantitative and qualitativeresearch into what the new pensions landscapemight look like.This BBS briefing note summarises NEST’s report. 1/3/2013
BN99 - Real Time Information With effect from 6th April 2013, HMRC isimplementing the real-time reporting of PAYE data,a process they have branded “Real TimeInformation” or RTI.All payrolls must transfer to RTI by October 2013 intime for the introduction of the Universal Credit, thenew benefit for those looking for work or on lowincomes.This BBS briefing note provides a summary of thechanges that RTI will bring into force for PensionSchemes. 1/2/2013
BN98 - Consultation on the Smoothing of Assets and Liabilities in Funding Valuation The Department for Work and Pensions (“DWP”)has, at the request of the Chancellor GeorgeOsborne, opened a public consultation on whether,in carrying out the valuation of defined benefitpension schemes, the value of assets and liabilitiesshould be permitted to be smoothed.In addition, views are being sought on whether thePensions Regulator (“the Regulator”) should have astatutory duty to consider the long-termaffordability of deficit recovery plans to sponsoringemployers.The consultation on the proposed change to theRegulator’s duties closes on 21 February 2013.Views on smoothing are being sought up to 7 March2013.This BBS briefing note summarises the consultationand the issues raised. 1/2/2013
BN97 - Code of Practice 13 Governance and Administration of Occupational DC Trust-based schemes The Pensions Regulator has issued a draft Code of Practice, which it proposes should apply to the trustees of all occupational defined contribution (DC) pension schemes. The Code will also be of interest to employers, advisers and other parties involved with DC schemes.This BBS briefing note provides a summary of the Code 1/1/2013
BN96 - Regulating Work-based Defined Contribution Pension Schemes The Pensions Regulator has issued a consultationdocument setting out how it intends to regulatedefined contribution (“DC”) pension schemes. Theconsultation includes a proposed Code of Practice, adocument setting out the regulatory approach itintends to take to ensure good governance andadministration, and a further document thatprovides regulatory guidance.The Regulator points to the expected increase in thenumber of people in DC schemes, many of whomwill be automatically enrolled rather than joiningvoluntarily, in support of the need for increasedgovernance and regulation.This BBS briefing note summarises the Regulator'sproposed approach to the regulation of DC schemesand the impact we expect this to have. BBS briefingnote 97 provides further detail on the draft Code ofPractice. 1/1/2013
BN95 - The 2013/14 Pension Protection Levy Consultation The Board of the Pension Protection Fund hasrecently issued the draft Determination for thePension Protection Levy for the 2013/14 levy year.The draft Determination sets out the parameters forthe levy and an associated Consultation documentsets out the proposed changes to the levy structurethat applied for 2012/13.This BBS Briefing Note provides a summary of theproposals and the key components of next year’slevy. 1/10/2012
BN94 - Consultation on Changes to the Retail Prices Index The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has opened apublic consultation to review the way in whichinflation, as measured by the Retail Prices Index(RPI), is calculated, and to consider options to bringit into line with the main alternative method ofmeasuring inflation, the Consumer Prices Index (CPI).The consultation on the proposed changes closes on30 November 2012.As might be appreciated, any changes could be farreaching. This BBS briefing note summarises thechanges proposed by the ONS and considers themain issues as they relate to private sector pensionschemes. 1/10/2012
BN93 - The Regulator’s Analysis of Recovery Plans The Pensions Regulator has published its analysis ofRecovery Plans relating to actuarial valuations witheffective dates in the year to 21 September 2010.The analysis covers Recovery Plans submitted to theRegulator by 31 January 2012 and builds on aprevious report issued by the Regulator (see BBSBriefing Note 75) which covered the first four yearsof the Statutory Funding Objective (SFO).This BBS briefing note summarises the findings. 1/9/2012
BN92 - Code of Practice for Incentive Exercises A pension industry Working Group has recently issued a Code of Practice setting out good practice principles to be followed in all incentive exercises undertaken in defined benefit pension schemes.The Code aims to ensure that incentive exercises are undertaken in a responsible manner, to ensure that scheme members are able to make informed decisions and better choices.Although the Code is voluntary, its principles are supported by the Pensions Regulator, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Financial Services Authority and it is hoped that employers will apply the spirit of the Code in all future incentive exercises.This BBS briefing note summarises the Code. 1/8/2012
BN91 - Record Keeping Survey 2012 The Pensions Regulator has recently published the results of its latest record keeping survey. A representative sample of trustees and administrators of trust and contract-based pension schemes were interviewed in February 2012, to assess the take-up of the Regulator’s 2010 Guidance and its effectiveness in improving data standards.This BBS briefing note summarises the survey results. 1/6/2012
BN90 - GMP Equalisation Earlier this year, the Department for Work and Pensions issued a consultation, aimed at trustees and managers of contracted out defined benefit pension schemes, on draft Regulations amending the current equal treatment legislation in relation to Guaranteed Minimum Pensions (“GMPs”). The consultation also included a possible method of equalising benefits to remove differences resulting from unequal GMPs.The consultation period ended on 12 April 2012.This BBS Briefing Note summarises the consultation and the possible method of equalisation put forward. 1/5/2012
BN89 - Pensions Regulator Statement on Funding in the Current Environment The Pensions Regulator has issued a Statement aimed at trustees and employers with defined benefit pension schemes, in particular those who are undertaking actuarial valuations with effective dates between September 2011 and September 2012.The Statement sets out the Regulator’s views on acceptable approaches to the actuarial valuation process in the light of current economic conditions. The expectation is that those trustees and employers who follow the guidance in the Statement are more likely to reach funding agreements that the Regulator finds acceptable.This BBS Briefing Note summarises the Statement. 1/4/2012
BN88 - Fixed Protection of Lifetime Allowance The maximum amount of tax-privileged retirement savings that an individual can accumulate over their lifetime is known as the Lifetime Allowance (LTA) and is currently set at £1.8 million. Where the value of retirement savings exceeds the LTA, a Lifetime Allowance Charge becomes payable on the excess.From 6 April 2012, the LTA will reduce to £1.5 million. Individuals who expect the value of their total pension savings to exceed £1.5 million can apply to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to retain an individual LTA of £1.8 million. In this way, they will reduce or eliminate any Lifetime Allowance Charge arising when their benefits are taken. This is known as Fixed Protection.,/p>This BBS Briefing Note summarises the key features of Fixed Protection. 1/3/2012
BN87 - The role of trustees in DC schemes The Pensions Regulator has issued a statement clarifying the behaviours and practices it expects trustees of defined contribution (DC) schemes to demonstrate.This BBS Briefing Note summarises the statement and the actions that trustees are expected to take in relation to their scheme. 1/11/2011
BN86 - Abolition of the Default Retirement Age In January 2011, the Governmentconfirmed its intention to abolish thenational Default Retirement Age (“DRA”)of 65, the age from which employers havebeen able to compulsorily retire theiremployees.This BBS briefing note summarises thechanges introduced and the potentialimpact on occupational pension schemes 1/10/2011
BN85 - Identifying your Statutory Employer The Pensions Regulator has issued astatement to help trustees of defined benefitschemes understand the importance ofidentifying their scheme’s statutoryemployer(s).This BBS Briefing Note summarises thestatement and the actions that trusteesshould be taking to identify which employersfall within the statutory definition in relationto their scheme. 1/10/2011
BN84 - The 2012/13 Pension Protection Levy The Board of the Pension Protection Fund hasrecently issued the draft Determination forthe Pension Protection Levy for the 2012/13levy year. The Determination sets out theproposed parameters for the levy and sets outthe detail as to how the new levy structurewill apply going forwards.This BBS Briefing Note provides a summary ofthe revised levy structure and the keydeadlines for submitting information. 1/10/2011
BN83 - Enabling Good Member Outcomes in Work-based Pension Provision In July 2011, The Pensions Regulator issued aninitial response to the feedback it received toits January 2011 discussion paper, ‘Enablinggood member outcomes in work-basedpension provision’.This BBS briefing note summarises the keyissues identified in the January 2011discussion paper and the action the Regulatorproposes taking following the feedbackreceived. 1/9/2011
BN82 - European Court Ruling on Unisex Insurance Rates On 30 June 2011, the Financial Secretaryto the Treasury issued a statementconfirming the UK Government’s positionon the European Court of Justice (ECJ)Judgement on the Test Achats case. TheJudgement, issued on 1 March 2011,concluded that the continued use ofgender in pricing insurance productswould be unlawful from 21 December2012.This BBS briefing note summarises themain points of the ECJ ruling, and explainshow they might affect pension schemes. 1/7/2011
BN81 - International Accounting Standard IAS19 – Revised Standard On 16 June 2011 the InternationalAccounting Standards Board (IASB)published the long-awaited revisedversion of the company accountingstandard IAS19.This BBS briefing note summarises themain revisions and explains how theymight affect organisations, including listedEuropean companies, that are required tocomply with IAS19. 1/7/2011
BN80 - The New Calculation of the Risk-Based Levy to Apply From 2012/13 BBS Briefing Note 79 summarised the newframework applying for the calculation ofPension Protection Levies from 2012/13, asannounced by the PPF in May 2011.There are several important changes to bemade to the levy calculation under the newframework. Two of the more interestingchanges relate to the calculation ofunderfunding risk used in the risk-basedelement of the levy, namely:smoothing the impact of market volatilityon the funding position used; andstressing the funding position to modelthe underlying investment risk posed by ascheme.This BBS Briefing Note provides greater detailon these two aspects of the new framework. 1/7/2011
BN79 - The New Pension Protection Levy Framework to Apply From 2012/13 Following detailed consultation, the Board ofthe Pension Protection Fund (“the PPF”) hasconfirmed the framework that will apply forthe calculation of PPF levies from 2012/13.As initially proposed by the PPF, the newframework will take a “bottom-up” approach,designed to reduce the degree of crosssubsidybetween schemes and to result in amore stable and predictable levy.This BBS briefing note provides a summary ofthe main components of the levy calculation. 1/5/2011
BN78 - Meeting high Annual Allowance charges from pension benefits Last year, the Government announcedthat the Annual Allowance (AA) for taxprivilegedpension savings would reducefrom £255,000 to £50,000 from April2011. Where the AA is exceeded in anyyear (allowing for any carry forward), anAnnual Allowance Charge (AAC) isincurred, and in October 2010 theGovernment published proposals onpermitting individuals to meet high AACsfrom their pension benefits, rather thantheir current income. BBS briefing note76 set out the proposals.In March, the Government published areport summarising the responses it hadreceived to its consultation paper andsetting out how it planned to proceed.This briefing note summarises the report. 1/5/2011
BN77 - Electronic Disclosure of Information Following a lengthy consultation process,new regulations came into force on 1December 2010 permitting pensionschemes to use electronic methods ofcommunication, such as email andwebsite postings, as the default means ofproviding members and otherbeneficiaries with certain information.This should help scheme trustees andmanagers to satisfy some of theirdisclosure of information obligations in amore efficient and cost effective manner.This BBS briefing note provides asummary of the provisions and thecriteria that must be satisfied to make useof e-communications. 1/4/2011
BN76 - Consultation: Options to meet high Annual Allowance Charges from pension benefits The Government announced in October2010 that the Annual Allowance (AA),which represents the maximum amountof tax-relievable savings that individualscan have in any one year, will be reducedfrom £255,000 to £50,000 from April2011.Where the AA is exceeded in any year, atax charge will be incurred at theindividual’s marginal rate of tax. TheGovernment committed to consult onoptions to enable individuals to meet thecharge out of their pension benefits,rather than current income.This BBS briefing note provides asummary of the proposals. 1/1/2011
BN75 - The Regulator’s Analysis of Recovery Plans In December, the Pensions Regulatorpublished its report “Recovery Plans:Assumptions and triggers”. The reportanalyses Recovery Plans submitted to theRegulator by 31 August 2010. Building onthe Regulator’s previous report (see BBSbriefing note 52) which covered the firstthree years of the new Statutory FundingObjective (SFO) funding regime, thisreport focuses on valuations witheffective dates between 22 September2008 and 21 September 2009.This BBS briefing note summarises thefindings. 1/1/2011
BN74 - Consultation on the introduction of CPI for pension increases The Department for Work and Pensionshas issued a consultation documentrelating to the Government’s decision tochange the measure of price inflationused to set the statutory minimum levelsof revaluation and indexation for privatesector occupational pension schemesfrom the Retail Prices Index (RPI) to theConsumer Prices Index (CPI). TheGovernment’s initial proposals on thiswere covered by BBS briefing note 65. The consultation document explores theexpected impact of the change and setsout the Government’s views on whetherfurther statutory intervention might beforthcoming to aid implementation. ThisBBS briefing note summarises theconsultation document. 1/12/2010
BN73 - Regulator’s Guidance on Internal Controls Section 249 of the Pensions Act 2004brought in the requirement for trustees toestablish and operate adequate internalcontrol mechanisms. To assist trustees,the Pensions Regulator published a Codeof Practice in November 2006.The Regulator has recently updated itsguidance on internal controls to givegreater practical support on how tocomply with the legislation, particularly totrustees of smaller schemes. This BBSbriefing note summarises the finalisedguidance. 1/12/2010
BN72 - Automatic Enrolment into Workplace Pension Schemes The Pensions Act 2008 introduced therequirement that UK employers will haveto automatically enrol employees into,and make contributions to, a qualifyingpension scheme.Following the change in government thisMay, there had been some doubt as towhether the coalition would leave thelegislation intact, or would seek to makechanges to Labour’s plans for the futureshape of the UK pensions landscape.This BBS briefing note summarises thedevelopments in this area since May,which have culminated this week with theconclusion of an independent review andan announcement by the Minister of Statefor Pensions, Steve Webb. 1/11/2010
BN71 - Consultation on the Future Development of the Pension Protection Levy The Board of the Pension Protection Fund(“the PPF”) has recently issued a ConsultationDocument setting out proposals for a newframework for the PPF levy from 2012/13.This BBS briefing note provides a summary ofthe proposals. 1/10/2010
BN70 - Removing the requirement to annuitise by age 75 The Government announced in its EmergencyBudget in June the intention to remove therequirement for defined contribution (DC)pension savings to be used to purchase anannuity by the age of 75. A consultationdocument was published in July and draftlegislation is expected later this year, with thenew provisions due to take effect from April2011.This BBS briefing note provides a summary ofthe proposals 1/10/2010
BN69 - Restricting Pensions Tax Relief – the Government’s Proposals Following consultation, the Government hasconfirmed how it intends to proceed withrestricting pensions tax relief. In a changefrom the approach proposed by the previousGovernment, the Annual Allowance (AA),which represents the maximum amount oftax-relievable savings that individuals canhave in any one year, will be reduced from£255,000 to £50,000 with effect from April2011. The Lifetime Allowance (LTA) will alsobe reduced, from £1.8 million to £1.5 million,with effect from April 2012.This BBS briefing note provides further detailsof the proposals. 1/10/2010
BN68 - The 2011/12 Pension Protection Fund Levy Consultation In line with previous years, the Board of thePension Protection Fund (the PPF) has issueda Consultation report setting out its proposalsfor the calculation of the PPF levy for 2011/12.The PPF has proposed some changes to thelevy calculation, in part, driven by significantimprovements in aggregate scheme fundingpositions. The Board considers the changesnecessary in order to maintain a fairdistribution of the levy, that is consistent withthe 2010/11 levy, but which continues toprotect the weakest 10% of schemes.This BBS briefing note summarizes theproposals. 1/10/2010
BN67 - Guidance on monitoring employer support: covenant, contingent assets and other security The Pensions Regulator has recentlyissued a consultation document onguidance for trustees and managers ofoccupational defined benefit pensionschemes. The guidance sets out thestandard practice that the Regulatorexpects trustees to follow in assessing,monitoring and taking action on theemployer covenant, and replaces theContingent Assets guidance of May 2006.This BBS briefing note summarises theproposed guidance. 1/8/2010
BN66 - Guidance on Transfer Incentives The Pensions Regulator has recentlyissued a consultation document onguidance for trustees and managers ofoccupational defined benefit pensionschemes. The guidance relates to transferincentive or other benefit modificationexercises run by sponsoring employersand replaces the “Inducement offers”guidance published in January 2007.This BBS briefing note summarises theproposed guidance. 1/8/2010
BN65 - Pension Increases – Change to CPI On 8 July 2010, the Minister of State forPensions, Steve Webb MP, confirmed theGovernment’s intention to change themeasure of price inflation for thepurposes of regulating occupationalpension schemes. Both the Departmentfor Work and Pensions (DWP) and thePensions Regulator have since publishedStatements on this matter and this BBSbriefing note explores the possibleimplications of the proposals. 1/7/2010
BN64 - Record Keeping – Final Guidance In February 2010, the Pensions Regulatorpublished a consultation documentsetting out how it planned to enforceminimum standards of member data in allwork-based pension schemes. TheRegulator’s proposals were summarised inBBS briefing note 56, which is availablefrom the BBS website.The Regulator has now issued itsconsultation response and finalisedRegulatory Guidance, both of which canbe found on the Regulator’s websitewww.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk. Thisbriefing note summarises therequirements of the Guidance. 1/7/2010
BN63 - Regulator Consultation on Internal Controls Guidance Section 249 of the Pensions Act 2004brought in the requirement for trustees toestablish and operate adequate internalcontrol mechanisms. To assist trusteesthe Pensions Regulator published a Codeof Practice in November 2006 andguidance designed to complement theCode followed in February 2007.Following a review by the PensionsRegulator, including a governance surveywhich indicated that a significant numberof schemes are failing to comply with thelegislation, it has issued revised guidanceunder a consultation exercise. The Codeof Practice is to remain unchanged.This BBS briefing note summarises therevised guidance. 1/6/2010
BN62 - Updating Scheme Rules - Finance Act 2004 and other Regulations The deadline for registered pensionschemes to take the necessary action toamend their rules to incorporate thesingle tax regime introduced by theFinance Act 2004 is 5 April 2011 and fastapproaching.Separately, amendments to scheme rulesare also required to ensure that schemescan repay any future scheme surplus tothe sponsoring employer, make partialtransfers and make certain trivialcommutation payments.This BBS briefing note summarises thebackground to these amendments andhighlights the action required by trusteesand employers over the coming months. 1/6/2010
BN61 - Investment Governance of Defined Contribution (DC) Schemes Earlier this year, the InvestmentGovernance Group (“IGG”) carried out aconsultation exercise in relation to aproposed good governance framework forDC schemes.The proposed framework is aimed atthose involved in the investment decisionmakingprocess for work-based DCschemes, including employers, trusteesand advisers, particularly those involvedwith contract-based DC schemes.This briefing note summarises theproposed framework. 1/5/2010
BN60 - International Accounting Standard IAS19 – New Exposure Draft The International Accounting StandardsBoard (IASB) has recently published anexposure draft setting out some proposedamendments to the company accountingstandard IAS19.This BBS briefing note summarises theproposals and explains how they might beexpected to affect organisations that arerequired to comply with IAS19, e.g. listedEuropean companies. 1/5/2010
BN59 - The National Employment Savings Trust – the new name for Personal Accounts BBS briefing note 47 introduced Auto-Enrolment and the proposed PersonalAccounts scheme. We now know a greatdeal more about the latter, including thenew name: the National EmploymentSavings Trust is the full title but NEST, andthe associated logo, will be how itbecomes to be known.This BBS briefing note provides furtherbackground on NEST. 1/4/2010
BN58 - Automatic Enrolment into Workplace Pension Schemes The Pensions Act 2008 introduced arequirement that UK employers will haveto automatically enrol employees into,and make contributions to, a QualifyingWorkplace Pension Scheme”.Much of the detail that was previouslymissing has now been enshrined inRegulations passed over the last fewmonths.This BBS briefing note summarises therequirements that are expected to comeinto force in 2012, assesses the impactthat those requirements will have onemployers, and sets out how BBS intendsto assist employers to ensure compliancewith the Regulations. It should be read inconjunction with BBS briefing note 47,which provides more detail on someaspects of the proposals. 1/4/2010
BN57 - Budget 2010 Update: Restricting Pensions Tax Relief for High Earners Alongside the 2010 Budget, the Governmentreleased a summary of the responses to its recentconsultation exercise in relation to the proposals torestrict pensions tax relief for high earners fromApril 2011. Whilst the summary essentiallyconfirms that the Government intends to proceedwith the proposals as planned, it also provides asummary of the decisions on certain matters ofdetail on which the Government consulted.This BBS briefing note provides a summary of thedecisions reached. It should be read in conjunctionwith BBS briefing note bn55, which provided asummary of the full proposals. 1/3/2010
BN56 - Record Keeping – Proposals for Enforcement In December 2008, the Pension Regulatorpublished good practice guidance onmeasuring the completeness of pensionscheme member data. The guidancesuggested some tests that could beapplied to “common” and “conditional”data items and these were summarised inBBS briefing note 43, which is availablefrom the BBS website.Research carried out by the Regulator in2009 indicates that implementation of thegood practice guidance has been limited.The Regulator has therefore confirmedthat it will be taking a stronger approachto managing standards of member datagoing forward and last month issued aconsultation document on its proposedmethods of regulation. The consultationcan be found on the Regulator’s website(www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk) andthis BBS briefing note summarises theproposals. 1/3/2010
BN55 - Restricting Pensions Tax Relief for High Earners The Government has recently carried out aconsultation exercise in relation to the proposals torestrict pensions tax relief for high earners fromApril 2011.This BBS briefing note provides a summary of theproposals in the consultation paper and of the antiforestallingmeasures already in place. 1/3/2010
BN54 - 2011/12 Pension Protection Levy: Insolvency Risk In November 2009 the Board of thePension Protection Fund (“PPF”) issued aconsultation document setting out theirproposals for altering the way insolvencyrisk is measured for the 2011/12 levyyear. The key proposals made under thatconsultation paper were summarised inBBS briefing note 53 – “Pension ProtectionLevy Consultation: Insolvency Risk”.The PPF has now published its PolicyStatement setting out the results of theconsultation exercise and confirming thatall of its main proposals will be adopted.This BBS briefing note summarises thechanges to be adopted. 1/3/2010
BN53 - Pension Protection Levy Consultation: Insolvency Risk The Board of the Pension Protection Fund(“PPF”) has issued a consultationdocument setting out their proposals fordeveloping the measurement ofinsolvency risk for the 2011/12 levy year.This BBS briefing note summarises theproposals. 1/12/2009
BN52 - The Regulator’s Analysis of Scheme Funding Returns The Pensions Regulator has this monthpublished its report “Scheme funding : Ananalysis of recovery plans”. The reportanalyses Recovery Plans submitted to theRegulator by 31 July 2009, covering thefirst three years of the new StatutoryFunding Objective (SFO) funding regime,i.e. valuations with effective datesbetween 22 September 2005 and 21September 2008. This BBS briefing notesummarises the findings. 1/12/2009
BN51 - The Regulator’s Guidance on Good Practice under Defined Contribution Schemes The Pensions Regulator has identified thatinformed member decisions at retirementand engaged employers are key tomembers of Defined Contribution (DC)schemes having good retirementoutcomes. Building on previous guidance,the Regulator issued a statement titled“Engaged employers and informedretirement choices” in July 2009 and hassince published various other documentsdealing with retirement processes in DCschemes, targeted at employers,members and trustees. This BBS briefingnote summarises these publications. 1/12/2009
BN50 - The 2010/11 Pension Protection Fund Levy Consultation In line with previous years, the Board of thePension Protection Fund (the PPF) has issueda Consultation report setting out its proposalsfor the calculation of the PPF levy for 2010/11.The PPF has proposed some minimal changesto the levy calculation, which have, in part,been driven by the desire to lessen the burdenon the weakest schemes during thesechallenging economic times. Whilst subject toconsultation, the main proposals areconsidered firm and are unlikely to change.This BBS briefing note summarizes theproposals. 1/10/2009
BN49 - Foster Wheeler v. Hanley – The Court of Appeal’s judgment On 8th July 2009, the Court of Appealoverturned the decision of the High Courtin the Foster Wheeler v. Hanley andOthers case. This is a landmark case inrelation to pensions equalisation, whichprovides some guiding principles on howthe Courts will interpret scheme rules togive effect to equalisation rights. This BBSbriefing note considers the Court’sjudgment. 1/9/2009
BN48 - Trivial Commutation and Payments made in Error The long-awaited Registered PensionSchemes (Authorised Payments)Regulations 2009 came into force on 1June 2009. They set out newcircumstances in which benefitentitlements can be trivially commutedand permit certain payments made inerror to be treated as “authorisedpayments”.This BBS briefing note summarises thenew provisions. 1/9/2009
BN47 - Pensions Act 2008 - Auto-enrolment and the Personal Accounts Scheme The Pensions Act 2008 reforms workplacepension provision by introducing therequirement for UK employers to autoenrolemployees into, and makecontributions to, a qualifying pensionscheme.A qualifying pension scheme may be anexisting defined benefit or definedcontribution scheme meeting certainminimum standards. Alternatively, thePersonal Accounts Scheme is being set upto offer a low cost, independent schemethat any employer can use.Although much of the detail has yet to befinalised, this BBS briefing note outlinesthe requirements that are expected tocome into force in 2012. 1/7/2009
BN46 - Code of Practice 12: Circumstances in relation to the Material Detriment Test The Government has legislated to extendthe “anti avoidance” powers of thePensions Regulator to ensure that theyremain fit for purpose. The Pensions Act2008 introduces a new ground on whichContribution Notices can be issued,known as the “material detriment test”.Following a consultation exercise, a draftCode of Practice covering this newprovision has recently been laid beforeParliament. Both the Code and theRegulator’s new power are expected tocome into force in the Summer of 2009.However, the 2008 Act provides that thematerial detriment test will applyretrospectively from 14 April 2008.This BBS briefing note summarises thenew provisions. 1/6/2009
BN45 - Conversion of Guaranteed Minimum Pensions (GMPs) The Department for Work and Pensions(DWP) carried out a consultation exerciselast year on draft regulations permittingdefined benefit schemes to convertGuaranteed Minimum Pensions (GMPs)into ordinary scheme benefits. In January2009, the DWP published its response tothe consultation and the OccupationalPension Schemes (Contracting-Out)(Amendment) Regulations 2009 came intoforce on 6 April 2009.This BBS briefing note summarises thenew provisions. 1/5/2009
BN44 - Regulator’s Statements – Funding in the Current Economic Climate Over recent months, the Pensions Regulator hasissued separate Statements to trustees andsponsoring employers of pension schemesclarifying its stance with regard to the impact thatthe current extraordinary economic climate mighthave on agreed funding plans.These Statements can be found on the Regulator’swebsite (www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk). ThisBBS briefing note summarises the Statements. 1/3/2009
BN43 - Record Keeping – Regulatory Guidance on Good Practice The Pensions Regulator has publishedguidance setting out its views on goodpractice in the testing and maintenance ofpension scheme member data. The guidanceis aimed primarily at administrators, trusteesand pension providers.The guidance follows a consultation periodand highlights the benefits of regularmeasurement of the accuracy andcompleteness of data held, together with theneed to implement plans to rectify anyshortcomings.The guidance can be found on the Regulator’swebsite (www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk).This BBS briefing note summarises theguidance. 1/3/2009
BN42 - Transfer Values – Regulator’s Guidance on Setting Assumptions The Occupational Pension Schemes (TransferValues) (Amendment) Regulations 2008 (“theRegulations”) came into effect on 1 October 2008.These have moved the responsibility for setting themethod and assumptions upon which CashEquivalent Transfer Values (“CETVs”) are calculatedfrom the scheme actuary to the trustees.The draft regulations were originally issued in July2007 and were summarised in BBS briefing note 32- “New Draft Regulations on the calculation of CashEquivalent Transfer Values”. The final version ofthe regulations has no material changes to thedraft regulations.The Regulator has now published guidance,primarily for trustees, to aid understanding of thelegislation. The guidance also sets out theRegulator’s views on good practice and itsexpectations of standards trustees shouldincorporate into fulfilling the requirements.The full guidance can be found on the Regulator’swebsite (www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk). ThisBBS briefing note summarises the guidance. 1/1/2009
BN41 - Conflicts of Interest – Guidance from the Pensions Regulator Pensions Regulator has recently published guidanceon the governance of conflicts of interest. Theguidance aims to assist trustees of occupationalpension schemes and employers to identify,monitor and manage conflicts of interest.This BBS briefing note summarises the key points ofthe guidance. 1/1/2009
BN40 - Early Leaver Revaluation Since 1986, most defined benefit pensionschemes have been required to increasebenefits for early leavers between thedate of leaving and retirement age, in linewith increases in the Retail Prices Index orby 5% per annum over the whole period ifless.The Pensions Bill currently working itsway through Parliament is expected toreduce the limit from 5% to 2.5% perannum, but only for benefits built up aftera date to be confirmed (likely to beJanuary 2009).This BBS briefing note reviews how thenew requirements are expected to beimplemented and comments on the likelyfunding impact for pension schemes. 1/11/2008
BN39 - The 2009/10 Pension Protection Fund Levy Consultation In line with previous years, the Board of thePension Protection Fund (the PPF) hasrecently issued a Consultation report settingout its proposal’s for the calculation of the PPFlevy for 2009/10.To a large extent, there are no fundamentalchanges over the method of calculating thePPF levy for 2008/9, although some aspects ofthe proposals represent a welcomedevelopment over the approach taken inprevious years. Whilst subject to consultation,the proposals are considered firm and areunlikely to change.This BBS briefing note summarizes theproposals. 1/9/2008
BN38 - Scheme Funding – Regulatory Approach to Mortality Assumptions In February 2008 the Pensions Regulator issued aconsultation document on good practice whenchoosing funding assumptions for defined benefitpension schemes, focusing particularly on themortality assumptions. The contents of thatconsultation paper were summarized in BBSbriefing note 35 - “Scheme Funding – MortalityAssumptions”.The Regulator has now published its report on theresponses received to the consultation document.This BBS briefing note summarizes the content ofthe report and details the new regulatory approachthat will come into effect for valuations with aneffective date from 22 September 2008. 1/9/2008
BN37 - Code of Practice No. 11: Dispute resolution – reasonable periods Following a Consultation exercise late lastyear, the Pensions Regulator has recentlyfinalised Code of Practice No.11: Disputeresolution – reasonable periods, which hasbeen laid before Parliament. The Code comesinto effect from 6 April 2008.This BBS briefing note summarises the mainfeatures of the Code. 1/5/2008
BN36 - Employer Debt Amendments When a defined benefit pension scheme windsup or the sponsoring employer becomesinsolvent, and there are insufficient funds topurchase annuities for all members, a debtarises amounting to the shortfall. This isknown as the Section 75 Debt. In addition,the debt also arises where an employer in amulti-employer scheme ceases to participate inthe scheme.New regulations effective from 6 April 2008have clarified and/or amended a number ofareas of the debt regulations and, in particular,have increased the options available toemployers to mitigate the full debt. Theseamendments provide greater flexibility for theemployer, whilst still maintaining a high levelof member protection.This BBS briefing note provides somebackground on the issues and summarises thekey features of the new legislation, themajority of which are concerned with multiemployerschemes. 1/5/2008
BN35 - Scheme Funding – Mortality Assumptions The Pensions Regulator has issued aconsultation document on good practice whenchoosing funding assumptions for definedbenefit pension schemes, with special focus onmortality. Once the consultation process hasbeen completed, it is expected that theRegulator will issue formal guidance on thisissue, as well as a statement on the approach itwill be taking to monitor and regulateschemes’ compliance with the guidance.This BBS briefing note provides somebackground on the issues and summarises thekey proposals in the consultation document. 1/2/2008
BN34 - Pension Protection Levy for 2008/09 to 2010/11 Following consultation, the Board of thePension Protection Fund (“the PPF”) hasrecently set out its “firm” proposals for therevisions to be made to the calculation of thePension Protection Levy for 2008/09 and thefollowing two years.This BBS briefing note provides a summary ofthe changes. 1/12/2007
BN31 - Consultation of the Future Development of the Pension Protection Levy The Board of the Pension Protection Fund(“the PPF”) has recently issued a ConsultationDocument setting out proposals for thedevelopment of the pension protection levyover a number of years beginning with 2008/9.This BBS briefing note provides a summary ofthe proposals. 1/9/2007
BN30 - Pension Schemes Online - e-Filing With effect from 16 October 2007, electronicfiling becomes mandatory for registeredpension schemes. HM Revenue & Customs(“HMRC”) has recently produced a guide tousing the online service which is aimed atScheme Administrators (typically the trustees)and Practitioners (typically their advisers /administrators).This BBS briefing note provides a summary ofthe position. 1/9/2007
BN29 - Pension Protection Levy for 2007/08 The Board of the Pension Protection Fund(“the PPF”) has recently set out the revisionsto be made to the calculation and collection ofthe Pension Protection Levy for the 2007/08year.This BBS briefing note provides a summary ofthe changes. 1/2/2007
BN28 - Pensions Act 2004 Code of Practice No. 10: Modification of subsisting rights Section 262 of the Pensions Act 2004 amendsthe provisions of Section 67 of the PensionsAct 1995, to allow trustees of pension schemesto modify the rules and thereby alter anymember’s subsisting rights.Following a consultation exercise carried outduring 2005 on this matter, the PensionsRegulator has finalised code of practice No.10, which has recently been laid beforeParliament. The underlying legislation cameinto force on 6 April 2006.This BBS briefing note summarises thecontents of the code. 1/11/2006
BN27 - Pensions Act 2004 Code of Practice No. 9: Internal Controls Article 14 of the European Directive 2003/41places an obligation on trustees or managers ofoccupational pension schemes to have “soundadministrative and accounting procedures andadequate internal control mechanisms”. Thisrequirement was given effect in UK law bySection 249 of the Pensions Act 2004.Following a consultation exercise carried outduring 2005 on this matter, the PensionsRegulator has finalised code of practice No. 9,which came into effect on 22 November 2006.The internal controls legislation came intoforce on 30 December 2005.This BBS briefing note looks at the contentsof the code. 1/11/2006
BN26 - The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 Significant new rules on age discrimination inemployment come into force on 1 October2006. In this BBS briefing note, we look atthe implications for pension schemes. 1/8/2006
BN25 - Pensions Act 2004 Code of Practice 08: Member-Nominated Trustees Directors The Pensions Act 2004 (“the Act”) imposes aduty on trustees to ensure that arrangementsare put in place and implemented for at leastone third of trustees to be member-nominated(“MNTs”).The Pensions Regulator (“the Regulator”) hasrecently issued its conclusions of theconsultation exercise carried out in 2005 onthis matter, and the finalised code of practice,which comes into effect from 6 April 2006, hasbeen laid before parliament.BBS briefing notes bn08 and bn15 looked atthe MNT provisions of the Act and theproposals that were under consultation. ThisBBS briefing note looks at the finalised codeof practice and associated regulations. 1/7/2006
BN24 - Code of practice 07: Trustee knowledge and understanding (TKU) The Pensions Regulator (“tPR”) has finalisedCode of practice 07: Trustee knowledge andunderstanding, which was laid beforeParliament on 23 March 2006 and is expectedto be formally issued next month. The TKUrequirements are effective from 6 April 2006.The final Code has been produced followingextensive feedback received by tPR from theconsultation exercise conducted last year.BBS briefing note 10, issued in April 2005,covered the first draft of the Code.The aim of the Code remains the same, i.e.that trustees should have appropriateknowledge and understanding of the law thatrelates to pensions and trusts, and theprinciples relating to the funding ofoccupational pension schemes and theinvestment of the assets of such schemes. Inaddition, trustees are expected to beconversant with their own scheme-relateddocuments.This BBS briefing note highlights the changesthat have been made to the first draft of theCode and reaffirms some of the moreimportant features of the Code. 1/5/2006
BN23 - Pensions Act 2004 Codes of Practice 05 & 06: Reporting late payment of Contributions The Pensions Regulator (“the Regulator”) hasfinalised two Codes covering the reporting oflate payments of contributions to both theRegulator and scheme members. Code ofpractice 05 covers the requirements fortrustees of occupational money purchaseschemes. Code of practice 06 covers therequirements for managers of personal pensionschemes, including stakeholder plans.These Codes were finalised following aconsultation exercise last year, and are verysimilar in content. The Codes were laid beforeParliament on 2 March 2006 and are expectedto be issued formally later this month.This BBS briefing note summarises thecontents of both Codes, which are effectivefrom 6 April 2006. 1/5/2006
BN22 - The regulator’s statement - How the Pensions Regulator will regulate the funding of DB BBS briefing note bn18 summarised the mainproposals contained in a ConsultationDocument issued by the Pensions Regulator inOctober 2005. This set out the approach thatthe Regulator was intending to take to theregulation of the funding of defined benefitoccupational schemes.The Regulator has now revised the statementfollowing consultation, and a summary of thefinal proposals is set out below. The purpose ofthe statement is to inform trustees, employersand their respective advisers on how theRegulator will regulate the funding of definedbenefits, and to help trustees and others takeinformed decisions in relation to schemefunding. The longer term objective is tostrengthen scheme funding and thereforereduce risks and the possible need forintervention in the future. 1/5/2006
BN21 - Pensions Act 2004 Code of Practice 04 Early Leavers - reasonable periods During 2005, the Pensions Regulator (“theRegulator”) consulted on a draft code ofpractice which provided trustees withguidelines on the rights and notificationrequirements for those members who leaveoccupational pension schemes with betweenthree months’ and two years’ pensionableservice.The final code was laid before Parliament on14 March 2006. This BBS briefing notesummarises the code, the provisions of whichare effective from 6 April 2006. 1/5/2006
BN20 - Pensions Act 2004 Code of Practice 05 Funding defined benefits The Pensions Regulator has recentlypublished Code of practice 03: Fundingdefined benefits. The aim of the Code is toassist trustees in the discharge of their dutiesunder the new legislative requirements forfunding defined benefit schemes. The Codealso guides trustees in meeting the newdisclosure of information requirements relatedto funding, and sets out the “reasonableperiods” for providing certain information.The Code is extensive and covers some 60pages. This BBS briefing note provides a briefsummary of the more important features. 1/4/2006
BN19 - Pensions Act 2004 The Pension Protection Levy – Consultation Document December 2005 BBS briefing notes bn02, bn07, bn16 andbn17 set out the development of the proposalsfor the operation of the Pension ProtectionFund (the PPF) and the method of calculatingthe risk based levy to apply from April 2006.On 16 December 2005, the Board of the PPFpublished a further (and final?) consultationdocument which summarises its firmproposals on those matters covered by thevarious consultation documents issued during2005, and introduces some new proposals.The PPF Board’s proposals are now “firm”(for 2006/07) and it does not anticipatemaking any further fundamental changes.This BBS briefing note provides a summary ofthe Board’s proposals. 1/1/2006
BN18 - Pensions Act 2004 Consultation Document How will the Regulator regulate the funding of DB BBS briefing note bn06 gave an outline of thenew scheme-specific funding requirementsintroduced by Part 3 of the Pensions Act 2004.The new funding regime was due to come intoeffect from 23 September 2005. However, thefinal Regulations and associated Code ofPractice have now been delayed to 30December 2005, with the associated actuarialguidance due in early 2006.A Consultation Document has recently beenissued setting out the proposed frameworkwithin which the Pensions Regulator willregulate the funding of defined benefits andthis BBS briefing note summarises the mainproposals. 1/11/2005
BN17 - Pensions Act 2004 The Pension Protection Fund - Risk-based Levy Proposals Update October 2005 BBS briefing note bn16 covered the PensionProtection Fund (PPF) consultation documentissued in July 2005, which set out the PPFBoard’s initial proposals for how the risk-basedlevy would be calculated.The consultation period ended on 4 October2005 during which time the Board receivedover 200 written responses. In due course, theBoard intends to publish a summary of theconsultation responses and its detailed finalproposals for the PPF levy. A second shortconsultation period will then follow.In the meantime, the PPF Board has taken theunusual step of issuing an update setting outthe most important of its revised proposals.This BBS briefing note summarises the mainchanges and then looks at the more importantrevised proposals in some detail. 1/10/2005
BN16 - Pensions Act 2004 The Pension Protection Fund - Risk-based Levy Proposals BBS briefing notes bn02 and bn07 covered thenew Pension Protection Fund (PPF), whichcame into effect on 6 April 2005, and theproposed structure of the levy to be paid bytrustees of those occupational pension schemescovered by the PPF.The Board of the PPF has recently published aconsultation document dealing with how therisk-based levy will be calculated. It isproposed that the risk-based levy beintroduced from April 2006, much sooner thanwas perhaps envisaged originally, and thepotential financial impact on certain schemescould be very significant. This BBS briefingnote looks at the Board’s proposals 1/8/2005
BN15 - Pensions Act 2004 - Draft Code of Practice: Member-Nominated Trustees & Directors The Pensions Act 2004 (“the Act”) imposes aduty on trustees to ensure that arrangementsare put in place and implemented for at leastone third of trustees to be member-nominated(“MNTs”).The Pensions Regulator (“the Regulator”) hasrecently issued a draft code of practice forconsultation, which provides trustees withpractical advice on how to comply with theMNT legislation. The consultation periodends on 30 September 2005 and the code isexpected to come into effect in April 2006.Separately, the DWP has issued draftRegulations that are also under consultation.An outline of the MNT provisions of the Actwas covered in an earlier BBS briefing note,bn08. This BBS briefing note looks at theproposals under these consultation papers. 1/8/2005
BN14 - Pensions Act 2004 Code of Practice 02 Notifiable Events The Pensions Act 2004 imposes a duty ontrustees of any scheme that is eligible for entryto the Pension Protection Fund (“the PPF”),and the employers who sponsor such schemes,to notify the Pensions Regulator (“theRegulator”) when specified events occur.The Regulator has now published Code ofPractice No.2: Notifiable Events, whichtogether with the associated guidance coversthe new requirements. The requirements toreport came into force on 6 April 2005, and theCode came into force on 30 June 2005.This BBS briefing note looks at therequirements and summarises the new Code. 1/6/2005
BN13 - Pensions Act 2004 Code of Practice No 01 Reporting breaches of the law The Pensions Act 2004 (“the Act”) imposes aduty on those involved in running work-basedpension schemes to report material breaches oflaw to The Pensions Regulator (“theRegulator”). The requirements under the Actextend the existing ‘whistleblowing’requirements and the Regulator has nowpublished Code of Practice No. 1, which,together with associated guidance, covers thenew requirements. The new reporting regimecame into force on 6 April 2005.This BBS briefing note summarises the newCode of Practice and associated guidance. 1/5/2005
BN10 - Pensions Act 2004 - Trustee Knowledge and Understanding (TKU) The Pensions Act 2004 (“the Act”) imposes astatutory duty on trustees and the directors oftrustee companies to become more conversantwith specified documents relating to theirpension scheme. The Act also requirestrustees to have appropriate knowledge andunderstanding of trusts and pensions law, andof the principles of funding and investment.This BBS briefing note looks at these newrequirements and considers the draft Code ofPractice on TKU, currently the subject ofconsultation within the pensions industry. 1/4/2005
BN12 - Finance Act 2004 Pensions Tax Simplification The first BBS briefing note (BBS bn01) set outthe main headline issues arising out of the FinanceAct 2004. This briefing note provides a summaryof the measures contained in the Act, taking intoaccount known subsequent changes. Thelegislation is complex, and separate briefing noteswill be issued shortly covering a number of areas inmore detail. 1/4/2005
BN11 - Pensions Act 2004 Codes of Practice The Pensions Regulator (“the Regulator”),which replaces the Occupational PensionsRegulatory Authority (Opra), opened forbusiness on 6 April 2005. The objectives andkey powers of the Regulator were covered in aprevious BBS briefing note (bn09), whichnoted that one of the Regulator’s key functionsis to issue Codes of Practice to assist thoseinvolved in the running of pension schemes.This BBS briefing note looks at thedevelopment process for these Codes and theassociated guidance issued by the Regulator.It also sets out the proposed timetable(overleaf) of the planned dates forconsultation, issue and implementation of eachof the Codes of Practice. 1/4/2005
BN09 - Pensions Act 2004 The Pensions Regulator The Pensions Act 2004 (the “Act”) establishesa new regulator for all occupational pensionschemes, stakeholder schemes, and ‘workbased’personal pensions in the UK. The newPensions Regulator (the “Regulator”), a nondepartmentalpublic body, will replace theOccupational Pensions Regulatory Authority(“Opra”) and will inherit all of its powers andfunctions, along with several new powers.This BBS briefing note looks at the structureand powers of the new Regulator. 1/2/2005
BN08 - Pensions Act 2004 Member Nominated Trustees The requirement to give members theopportunity to select at least one-third of theirscheme trustees was introduced by thePensions Act 1995. The Pensions Act 2004(“the Act”) repeals these member nominatedtrustee (“MNT”) requirements and replacesthem with compulsory but less complicatedarrangements for selecting MNTs.This BBS briefing note looks at the existingregulations and how the Act will impact onMNT selection arrangements in future. 1/2/2005
BN07 - Pensions Act 2004 - The Pension Protection Fund - The Initial Levy Draft regulations have now been publishedsetting out the levy for the first year ofoperation of the Pension Protection Fund(“PPF”). Whilst these regulations are draft,the Government is not required to consult onthem so it is anticipated they will be laidshortly.This briefing note sets out the detail andshould be read in conjunction with briefingnote bbn02. 1/2/2005
BN06 - Pensions Act 2004 - Statutory Scheme Funding The Pensions Act 2004 (“the Act”) includesmeasures to replace the Minimum FundingRequirement (“MFR”) with a new schemespecificfunding objective with effect fromOctober 2005.This BBS briefing note looks at theshortcomings of the existing MFR and gives aninitial outline of the new requirements. Atpresent, most of the details are still awaited,and this briefing note will be updated as soonas these are available. 1/2/2005
BN05 - Pensions Act 2004 - Combating “Moral Hazard” Much of the focus of the Pensions Act 2004(“the Act”) is on improving the security ofmembers’ benefits under occupational definedbenefit schemes. BBS briefing note – bn02issued in December 2004 covered one of themain planks of this, the Pension ProtectionFund (“the PPF”).In introducing the PPF, the Government isalso rightly concerned about the risk ofunscrupulous employers rearranging theiraffairs in order to avoid their liabilities towardstheir underfunded pension schemes, orotherwise attempting to dump these liabilitieson the PPF. To counter these risks,commonly referred to as “moral hazard”, theAct gives the new Regulator additional andwide-ranging powers to ensure that employers’obligations are not side-stepped. This BBSbriefing note looks at these moral hazardprovisions. 1/1/2005
BN04 - Pensions Act 2004 Dispute Procedures The Pensions Act 1995 introduced a two-stagedecision making process for resolving disputesarising between beneficiaries and Trustees.The Pensions Act 2004 (“the Act”) simplifies therequirements and will allow scheme Trustees tointroduce a single stage process that fits their ownparticular needs.This BBS briefing note reviews the 1995 legislation,and then explains the detailed changes, thetimetable for implementation, and comments onother practical considerations. 1/1/2005
BN03 - Pensions Act 2004 Limited Price Indexation The Pensions Act 2004 (“the Act”) introducesincreased security for most pension schememembers, but with a good deal of additionalexpense and bureaucracy for scheme sponsors.Whether the Act becomes the final “final nail inthe coffin” of defined benefit pension schemesremains to be seen. There is, however, one area thatmight offer a glimmer of support to schemesponsors - from 6 April 2005 the requirement toprovide index-linked pension increases up to amaximum of 5% each year will be weakened.This BBS briefing note explains the detailedchanges, the timetable for implementation, andcomments on other practical considerations. 1/12/2004
BN02 - Pensions Act 2004 The Pension Protection Fund Perhaps the most important element of thePensions Act 2004 is the creation of the PensionProtection Fund (PPF), which is to come into effecton 6 April 2005. Whilst some of the finer detail isstill to follow in Regulations, not least the basis ofthe levy to be charged to trustees of occupationalpension schemes, this BBS briefing note sets outthe basic framework of the PPF and the key issuesthat arise. 1/12/2004
BN01 - Pensions Bill 2004 & Finance Act 2004 – “At a Glance” The purpose of this first BBS briefing note is toprovide an initial overview of the main issuescontained within both the Pensions Bill (as itcurrently stands) and the Finance Act 2004. Wehave highlighted those issues that are likely to affectyou most in relation to scheme design and therebythe future costs of maintaining your pensionarrangements. Each of these specific issues will becovered in more detail by a future BBS briefingnote, which in turn will be supplemented (whererelevant) by detailed advice specific to your schemeand objectives.Please note that the implementation dates indicatedbelow may be subject to change, although theinformation is correct at the time of production. 1/10/2004