The financial crisis ten years on: lessons learned – video blog

Ten years on from the start of the credit crunch, chief investment officer Tom Becket paid a visit to the site of the Golders Green Branch of Northern Rock, the UK’s most notable casualty which collapsed in February 2008. Standing on the spot where savers queued to withdraw their savings, he asks what lessons, if indeed any, have been learned for central banks and investors since then.

Watch the video here.

Sarah Brown

Time running out to manage tax changes

As many of us enjoy the August break, only the most organised pension scheme members will be spending their time on the beach considering their tax return or pondering the annual allowance, which restricts the amount of tax-relieved pension savings that can be made each year.

However, many higher earners need to take action now; otherwise they may need to meet any annual allowance tax charge out of their non-retirement savings rather than through their pension scheme. This means that those responsible for pension schemes should have the annual allowance at the top of their current agenda.

For the full blog post, click here.

Tom Becket

Desperately seeking value in the land of opportunity

Recent events in the UK have demonstrated to the world that we are becoming an increasingly irrelevant island in the middle of the Atlantic, as our government behaves chaotically over our “Brexit” negotiations and a Trotskyist looms large over 10 Downing Street. Getting out and about in the world makes clear the lower standing with which our country is now being held and the vague amusement that many people have over our ludicrous situation. Realising this would be a good idea for our politicians.

Read the full blog here.

Tom Becket

Morning has broken

​I’m not sure we should be allowed to describe any political result as a “surprise” anymore, but it’s fair to say that last night was a pretty extraordinary night on many levels.

It has now been confirmed that the Conservative Party will not secure a majority from the election, but could form a government with the help of the Democratic Unionist Party in a hung parliament. This is a very different reality to the confident outcome that many foretold a month ago of a sweeping Conservative landslide victory, which is not a view we shared. Our central expectation was for a small Conservative majority, despite our disbelief at the campaign the Conservatives were running and the complacency that many had over a likely sweeping Conservative victory.

Read the full blog here.

Here we go, here we go….

With all the vigour (and, for some, forced jollity) of a post-wedding conga line, we are now heading for the door marked Brexit.

So, what strategic issues will affect UK defined benefit pensions and what, if anything, can be done to recognise them?

Most schemes will know where they stand at present. And for most, this will be significantly short of a full buy-out position and, probably, short on a scheme-specific funding position (or technical provisions basis). Brexit won’t change any of this in the short term. Life should just carry on as now.

For the full blog, click here.