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Quarterly Pension Briefing

Quarterly Briefing Quarter 1 - 2021

Welcome to the first Pension Quarterly Briefing in which we provide information on a few significant events in the pension’s world.
The briefing is a supplement to the information contained on the Usdaw Pensions website, which contains a host of pension related information about workplace, personal and state pensions;  www.usdaw.org.uk/Help-Advice/Pensions

So what happened in the first 3 months of 2021?

The Introduction of the Guided Retirement Pathway

What does it do?
Pension Freedoms introduced in 2015 enable an individual with pension savings in a defined contribution pension scheme to choose from a number of options when they wish to crystallise (draw) their pension benefits. However, the choices can be baffling and most people don’t seek financial advice (for a number of reasons) when they make a choice.

The pathway will guide an individual to make the optimal choice which is most suited to their personal circumstances without the need to seek financial advice and the additional cost associated with that advice.

2. Debenhams went into administration and trademark sold to Boohoo

Debenhams Pension Scheme is being assessed by the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) and following the assessment period will most likely be added to the Schemes that are now safeguarded in the PPF.

3. Arcadia had £510m pension deficit when it collapsed

The collapse of the Arcadia Group (Owner of Topshop, Dorothy Perkins, Burton and Miss Selfridge) has left a pension shortfall of £510m – about £150m more than expected;


4. The Pension Regulator’s Pension Scam Campaign Received 100 Pledges

A scam-busting campaign calling on the pensions industry to commit to six key saver-protecting actions has seen more than 100 pledges since its launch.    A month on from the campaign’s launch, 117 pledges have been made by pension scheme trustees.  A further 37 of those that pledged have also self-certified to confirm they have adopted stringent practices on due diligence, member warnings and reporting scams demanded by the pledge campaign.

5. Pension Wise usage at 1.2% in some parts of UK

Just over one in 100 eligible defined contribution (DC) pension savers are using free Pension Wise guidance sessions in some areas of the country, according to analysis from Just Group.

New regional figures revealed by the Money and Pension Service (Maps) to showed that that DC pension savers in 2019-20 were about twice as likely to take a session in Scotland, the West Midlands and Yorkshire & Humber compared to those in Northern Ireland, London or the North East.


6. The passing of the Pensions Bill in the House of Commons - Royal Assent; https://services.parliament.uk/bills/2019-21/pensionschemes.html

What does it do;
  • Introduction of the Pensions Dashboard; www.pensionsdashboardsprogramme.org.uk/
  • Introduces more onerous penalties on pension trustees if they misuse the funds knowingly, or where they should have known that the consequences of an event will have the potential to detrimentally affect the finances of the pension scheme. New criminal offences and regulatory powers will be on the statue book in autumn 2021. About 5,500 businesses with defined benefit, or final-salary style pensions, are currently in the scope of the legislation.
    As a result of Covid -19 many, businesses in the retail and transport sectors, are potentially facing restructuring pressures. The act will introduce two new criminal offences which could potentially apply to a wide range of activity (both directly and indirectly)  which are related to a pension scheme.
If you have any questions or require information on any pension related matter please contact the Pensions Department at Usdaw;[email protected]

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