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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2003): Pensions - UK

AGEING POPULATION TREND HEIGHTENS PENSION FEARS

R Blitz

Financial Times, January 30th 2003, p.6

Fears of a looming pension crisis are reinforced by a report predicting that the number of people aged 65 or over will overtake the number under 16 in 11 years. Britain's ageing population is due to two factors highlighted in the latest Social Trends report from the Office of National Statistics: the decline in infant mortality and the fall in the birth rate.

LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS ON MOVING FROM FINAL SALARY TO MONEY PURCHASE

B Benney

Pensions, vol. 8, 2003, p.139-146

Paper examines the legal implications for an employer seeking to switch from a defined benefit to a defined contribution occupational pension scheme. It considers legal issues arising in four key areas:

  • contract of employment;
  • adding a new money purchase section onto a final salary scheme;
  • choosing a stakeholder, group personal pension or occupational defined contribution scheme;
  • winding up the final salary scheme or continuing with it as a closed fund.

OPRA: TACKLING THE RISKS TO PENSION SCHEME MEMBERS

National Audit Office

London: TSO, 2002 (House of Commons papers, Session 2001/2002; HC1262)

Looks at how the Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority (OPRA) seeks to protect the interests of people who belong to an occupational stream. Covers improvements in the governance of pension schemes and current risks to members.

STAKEHOLDER PENSIONS: THE COMPLIANCE REGIME

I Greenstreet

Pensions, vol. 8, 2003, p.152-161

Employers have had to comply with new obligations to designate and provide access to a stakeholder pension scheme since October 2001. Paper gives an overview of the compliance regime, covering:

  • the main approaches employers have taken to compliance;
  • what employers need to do to remain compliant when they are relying on exemptions from the obligation to offer a stakeholder scheme;
  • issues related to corporate acquisitions;
  • employers' liability for poor investment performances;
  • financial services issues;
  • payroll deduction issues.
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