Government reviews pension enrolment guidelines
The UK government is believed to be reconsidering the level at which employees in the UK would be automatically enrolled into a pension scheme as well as a potential exemption for small companies. The original changes, which would see hundreds of thousands of employees in the UK automatically enrolled into pension schemes, are set to come into play in 2012 although we may see some changes to the original guidelines before then.
The proposed changes could see the threshold for joining such schemes increase from £5,000 per annum to anywhere from £10,000 per annum. The main concern of the government seems to be the possibility that a very small pension fund would in reality simply replace means tested benefits and be of little assistance to low-income workers in the UK. Whether this is the case remains to be seen but the authorities are certainly reconsidering their initial recommendations.
A number of authorities in the UK representing small businesses have been lobbying the government for some time for exemptions for those with fewer than five employees where potentially the cost of setting up the arrangements becomes "non-cost-effective". We are likely to see major changes between now and the proposed introduction date of 2012 with a number of different authorities and bodies around the UK lobbying the government for a number of changes.
Another day another final salary pension scheme closes
It has been revealed that Whitbread is the latest UK company to close its final salary pension scheme to existing members. The move, which has been under consideration for over four months, will affect around 3% of Whitbread's workforce and see their pension fund assets transferred to "defined benefit schemes". In effect this will take away the guarantee of a fixed pension upon retirement and leav...Read More
Get professional financial advice, Halifax urges
Britons would much rather talk over their financial problems with family and friends than with a professional, according to Halifax.The financial firm's new survey shows that 53 per cent seek out their nearest and dearest for this kind of advice.By contrast, just 16 per cent have visited a professional adviser in the past year - despite the severe volatility on the markets and the threat of a deep...Read More
Pension Firm GP Noble Comes Under The Spotlight
As the pension industry continues to try and come to terms with the massive increase in funding requirements of the last few years we have seen the Pensions Regulator use its emergency powers for the first time to suspend Pension Trustees Company GP Noble from a number of schemes. The execution of the emergency powers was both swift and came as a surprise to many in the industry.
Mind the gender pension gap
Women not only suffer from the pay gap, but are also subject to the pension gap, new research from Scottish Widows has shown.More than one in three women of working age (35 per cent) do not have a pension scheme, compared to 22 per cent of men, and employers also contribute less to female staff's pensions (as a percentage of salary) than they do to men's, the survey revealed. Over half (54 per cen...Read More
Premier Foods calls the end of the final salary pension scheme
Robert Schofield, the chief executive of Premier Foods, has today called the end of the final salary pension scheme in the UK having effectively been forced to ditch the company scheme for its 17,000 strong workforce because of the company's high level of debt. Premier Foods, which owns brands such as Hovis, Mr. Kipling and other well-known food names, was the last FTSE 350 company to open a final...Read More