• Pensions briefing – a new defined benefit funding regime
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  • Pensions snapshot - January 2024
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  • Lifetime allowance abolition – an update
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  • Pensions briefing – what to watch in 2024
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Welcome to our pensions hub

We give you the inside track on what you need to know about pensions law. Our aim is to provide market leading technical expertise and solutions with a responsive and plain-English style for you.

 
 
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Pensions briefing – a new defined benefit funding regime

Updated draft Regulations published

Lifetime allowance abolition – an update

The abolition of the Lifetime Allowance (LTA) is being undertaken in two stages. The first was the removal of the LTA tax charges from 6 April 2023. The second will be the abolition of LTA itself from 6 April 2024. Rather than a simple abolition, the LTA is in effect being replaced by lump sum allowances which will still control the level of tax-free cash that an individual can receive from registered pension scheme arrangements. On 4 January 2024, HMRC published an updated newsletter providing further guidance on the how this will work in practice.

Pensions briefing – what to watch in 2024

We are expecting 2024 to be another busy year for developments in the pensions world. The Mansion House reforms and Autumn Statement last year demonstrate that pensions are firmly on the government's agenda.

Should my husband buy an annuity?

Estella Bogira writes for the Financial Times on buying an annuity vs taking drawdown.

RoadChef scheme and Canada Life agree £24 million buy-in

Stephenson Harwood pensions team advise RoadChef Pension Scheme trustees on £24 million insurance bulk annuity contract - Philip Goodchild, Dan Bowman and Julia Cooper have advised the trustees of the RoadChef Pension Scheme in relation to a £24 million bulk annuity contract with Canada Life which secured all the Scheme members' benefits. In particular, the pensions team advised on the benefits to be secured under the contract as provided in the Scheme's current and historic governing documentation.

Changes to the Lifetime Allowance

Background

Following the changes to the Lifetime Allowance ("LTA") regime effective from 6 April of this year, we have some more clarity on how these changes will operate in practice and on the implications for individuals with Enhanced Protection or any of the Fixed Protections. In this briefing we highlight three key points.

Why we need to brace for more regulatory intervention

Chris Edwards-Earl says The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has taken the opportunity to emphasise to trustees the message of "monitor" and "notify" but asks, with economic headwinds, and the regulator expressing concerns, will we be seeing a growth in regulatory intervention?

What does the Spring Budget 2023 mean for pension savers?

The focus of today's Spring Budget was growth. "Prosperity with purpose", based on 4 pillars of industrial growth. The third of these pillars and the one we're most interested in is "employment". Excluding students, there are over 7 million working age adults in the UK who are classed as economically inactive. From the Treasury's perspective this is highly problematic for economic growth.

Transfers out – are trustees at a greater risk than they realise?

In an article published by Professional Pensions, partner Stephen Richards and senior knowledge development lawyer Julia Ward, discuss transfers out, and whether trustees are at greater risk than they realise.

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