Insight / Micro businesses: preparing for auto enrolment pensions

By 2018 all employers will have to provide a workplace pension for their employees, otherwise known as automatic enrolment, including the latest tranche of stages in many of the UK's smallest business. Croner-i experts explain which workers are exempt from auto enrolment and the key dates for employers to consider

Tax / Grandparents missing out on childcare NI credit

Working-age people who give up their job to provide childcare for their grandchildren risk damaging their state pension entitlement because of failure to take up a little known benefit, designed to protect their National Insurance (NI) credits, according to analysis by insurer Royal London

Insight / Pension fraud triples in a year

The number of pension scams has increased threefold over the past year and nearly one in three pension schemes has been affected by fraud, according to research by RSM which suggests problems have escalated since the introduction of new pension freedoms

Accounting / Harrison: accounting for defined benefit pension schemes sub-standard

Many UK listed companies face spiralling defined benefit pension deficits but what is truly disconcerting is the real difficulty in assessing the extent of these pension black holes using publicly available information. Matthew Harrison, managing director of Lincoln Pensions calls for a fresh approach to pensions reporting and disclosures

Insight / Pensions Regulator fines for master trust governance failures

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has issued its first fines against master trust schemes for governance failings, after identifying a number of cases where a chair’s statement had not been completed, and has warned that it will impose the highest penalties in circumstances where professional trustees are involved

Insight / FTSE 350 pension deficits increase threefold

FTSE 350 pension deficits increased more than threefold over the course of 2016, according to the latest data from Mercer, which provides actuarial and benefits consulting services

Insight / Lifetime giving: when is a gift not a gift?

The legal concept of 'undue influence' can be used to set aside lifetime gifts but this is a complex area of the law and wrongdoing by the recipient does not have to be proved. Sarah Young, partner at Ridley & Hall Solicitors gives a snapshot of the arguments in play

Insight / Call for ‘nuclear deterrent’ to tackle pension scheme deficits

Ahead of the government’s expected green paper on defined benefit (DB) pension schemes, the work and pensions select committee is calling for the introduction of a ‘nuclear deterrent’ in the form of heavy fines to prevent companies from running up large pension deficits

Insight / Government to launch single financial advice body

Treasury are planning to create a single advice body to align pensions guidance, money guidance and debt advice which will in turn replace the Money Advice Service, the Pensions Advisory Service and the Department for Work and Pension’s ‘Pension Wise’, in a bid to deliver more targeted support for consumers and generate efficiencies

Insight / FCA finds costs cut for one million pension savers

Pension providers have made significant progress in reducing their costs and charges, as recommended by the Independent Project Board (IPB) to tackle poorly performing schemes, according to an assessment by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)

Insight / Review of auto enrolment in 2017

The government has announced a review of the pensions automatic enrolment regime in order to explore ways the policy can be further developed to encourage more people to save into a workplace pension

Tax / Income tax exemption for pensions advice

HMRC has put out a policy paper introducing an income tax exemption to cover the first £500 worth of pensions advice arranged by an employer and provided to an employee in a tax year, which is applicable to advice not only on pensions, but also for the first time on the general financial and tax issues relating to pensions

Insight / Proposals to ban pension scams and misselling

The Treasury and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) are seeking views on a package of measures to tackle three different areas of pensions scams, including a ban on cold calling in relation to pensions, over fears that the new pensions regime is being targeted by fraudsters

Insight / ICAEW issues new guidance for pensions trustees

ICAEW has issued updated guidance on master trusts in a bid to help pension trustees demonstrate good governance standards, by bringing its voluntary assurance framework in line with current legislation and codes of practice issued by The Pensions Regulator

Insight / Development updates: December 2016

Professional development news roundup includes PKF Cooper Parry fees hit £22m, Big Four and ICAEW meet Brexit minister, Shaw Gibbs and Grant Thornton expand, FCA caps pension early exit charges