Archive for the ‘Trustees’ Category

New RPI and it’s impact on pension schemes

This article is only really of interest to any employers or Trustees that are involved in a final salary type pension scheme.

Those all round good people at Wragge & Co have published a short paper that outlines some of the issues that you should be considering if your Scheme provides indexation.

You can read the paper by clicking here.

As always if you need any help, or have any questions, after you have read this contact your usual 44 Financial consultant.

Steve Clark

Pensions in 2012–A Summary

Well 2012 has got off to a great start here at 44 Financial. We’re working with a number of individual clients on their retirement options as well as three different new corporate tenders. What a fantastic start to the Olympic year!

Conscious as ever that there is so much going on in the pensions world we always try to look out for great articles and documents that will help our clients and blog subscribers to keep up to date. Sometimes its just enough to know what’s going on at a general level so you can decide how much you need to delve into the detail.

To that end we are grateful to those legal types at SNR Denton for their Pensions 2012 article. You can click through to the article here.

As a list to know what you should be keeping an eye on it’s great. There’s brief sections on Auto-enrolment, the abolition of contracting out, gender pricing of annuities.

We hope that you find this useful. As ever if you would like to look at the implications of any of this for your own arrangements please contact us. You can click here to complete our enquiry form.

We’d love to hear from you.

Steve Clark

Ombudsman overrules Trustees

There has been a recent decision by the Pensions Ombudsman that effectively overruled the decision made by the trustees about how the benefits for an employee that had died should be paid. We are obliged once again to Hogan Lovells LLP for their Pension Monthly Update. You can click through to the relevant page here.

The Deputy Pensions Ombudsman  upheld a complaint by the member’s son. The Ombudsman criticised the trustees for:

  • not investigating an apparent contradiction between the partner’s claim that she and the member had “been together” for 12 years whereas the employer’s records showed that the member had changed his address to his partner’s just over a year before he died;
  • not questioning why it was the member’s son, not the partner, who was the informant on the member’s death certificate;
  • handing one of the member’s sons an “information on relatives” form at the member’s funeral, without an explanation as to why it was needed; failing to chase the son to return the form; and not contacting the other son at all;
  • giving the son’s statements that his father had had two previous relationships in the period when the partner claimed she and the member had been “together” much
    less weight than the recollections of his father’s colleagues and failing to interview the partner or the other women involved;
  • taking 11 months to provide a first stage decision under the scheme’s internal dispute resolution procedure.

This all really does go to show that  trustees need to have a robust process in place to consider all of the relevant information before they make a decision. In too many of the cases we come across lip service is paid to considering who might potentially benefit and instead the payment is paid to either the partner or the named beneficiary on the last Expression of Wishes form.

As life assurance is one of the most common forms of employee benefit this really is an aspect of governance that needs to be taken very seriously. If your adviser is not already offering a full claims management and advice service as part of the services you pay for – you need to talk to us. Click the Contact Us tab at the top of the page to arrange an initial meeting at our expense.

Steve Clark