In the autumn Budget, the Government announced plans to fix a longstanding pension tax issue: the “low earners anomaly”. This is a positive development for low-earning members under “net pay” schemes. For employers it signals that other, less attractive, proposals are no longer on the table.
DC consolidation has been on the Government’s agenda for some time. Now the DWP has published a call for evidence, suggesting that the push to consolidate will be ramped up.
Consolidation involves winding up small DC arrangements and moving active members and accrued DC pots to larger schemes. Typically the chosen destination will be a master trust – a multi-employer occupational pension scheme which operates on a commercial basis. Master trusts are subject to an authorisation and supervision regime run by the Pensions Regulator.
As the economic downturn bites, we are likely to see an increase in transfers out of defined benefit (DB) pension schemes. Reports suggest there has already been an uptick in activity by fraudsters looking to prey on transferees.
Continue Reading Pension scheme transfers – should employers be concerned?
Five years ago the pensions world was rocked by George Osborne’s Budget announcement: DC members would no longer be forced to buy annuities.
Under his “freedom and choice” initiative, tax rules were changed so that DC pots could be used to provide lump sums or drawdown. At the same time, Pension Wise was introduced – free guidance for DC members about their benefit options. Later changes to tax law mean that, subject to certain conditions, members can use their DC savings to pay for financial advice.