Atkin trustees, actuaries, consultants & administrators

Current issues -September 2017

TPR Names and Shames: TPR has further demonstrated its determination to use its powers to improve standards by naming a number of schemes that have been hit with a financial penalty for either failing to complete a scheme return or ‘chair’s statement’.

British Steel – Pension issues resolved?: TPR has approved a proposal that allows Tata Steel UK to restructure the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) to prevent insolvency via a ‘Regulated Apportionment Arrangement’. Whilst these may offer a way out for the schemes with a distressed employer, the regulatory hurdles involved means that these are likely to be an option only for the very largest schemes. We would welcome engagement on making this a viable option for smaller schemes as well.

Reasonable expectations should not block pension cost-control exercises: The Court of Appeal held that IBM had not breached its duty of good faith by implementing a series of pensions changes to save costs and that a court should only interfere if the employer acted in a way in which no reasonable employer would have acted.

Department for Works and Pensions (DWP) to bring forward rise in State Pension Age (SPA): DWP has confirmed that it intends to increase SPA to 68 seven years earlier than currently scheduled. Schemes that have set their normal retirement age based on SPA may be impacted and the earliest age members can draw pension benefits (currently age 55) may also change.

IFoA climate change risk alert: The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries has issued a risk alert on climate change.

Data Protection – Preparing for GDPR: The General Data Protection Regulation comes into force on 25 May 2018. Trustees are advised to start preparations now to ensure their scheme meets the requirements in time.

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I have worked with Atkin & Co for many years and with Angela Norman in particular. My experience is that they are very professional and well organised, demonstrating a high level of integrity in the work they do and the information that they supply. Always helpful, Atkin & Co adopt a pragmatic approach to resolving problems if they arise.

Peter Wilkes, Harben Barker