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Welfare Reform on the Web (April 2008): Pensions - UK

Companies face bigger pensions levy

N. Cohen

Financial Times, March 7th 2008, p. 1

Proposals expected later in 2008 would make firms with pension schemes that rely heavily on risky investments pay higher premiums to the Pensions Protection Fund. This would be a marked change in policy.

The cost and value of UK defined benefit pension provision

P. Sweeting

Pension Economics & Finance, Vo. 7, 2008, p. 3-36

UK employers have increasingly switched to defined contribution schemes for new employees to offset increased costs of defined benefit schemes. This article quantifies some of the cost differences for companies, including tax effects, and finds that the impact of defined benefit scheme costs is usually significant but varies by employee age and other factors. Includes a useful overview of changes in the UK pensions environment.

Equities blow to pension deficits

N. Cohen

Financial Times, March 18th 2008, p. 21

Falling stock markets have increased pension deficits at the UK's top 350 companies by 40bn according to a new report from Morgan Stanley, and the PPF estimates schemes have lost almost all their gains over the last 4.5 years. However, the National Association of Pension Funds feels people should not read too much into short term stock market fluctuations.

(See also The Independent, March 18th 2008, p.4)

GPs win legal fight over pensions cap

N. Timmins

Financial Times, March 14th 2008, p. 4

The High Court has ruled that Patricia Hewitt, when health secretary, acted unlawfully by capping the pensions of family doctors when they earned more from a new contract than expected. It has affected around 3,000 retiring GPs who lost around 3,000 a year. The government can appeal the decision.

Pension changes could lead to record final salary deficit

N. Timmins

Financial Times, March 3rd 2008, p. 2.

Final salary pension schemes would face their worst ever deficit if plans go ahead for new accounting standards and the pensions regulator succeeds in getting schemes to make more realistic assumptions about longevity, pensions consultancy Aon has warned.

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