Pensions Wire

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  • September 21
    Norway’s trillion dollar baby
    Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (or simply the ‘Oil Fund’ as its friends call it) grabbed headlines this week as it surpassed $1 trillion in value. To put that into context, it is roughly 40% of the GDP of the UK. The Oil Fund is a peculiar beast with a vague aim to “underpin long-term considerations when phasing petroleum revenues into the Norwegian economy”. The Fund essentially takes ... Read More
  • September 07
    Car insurers welcome Ogden u-turn
    ​Today the Ministry of Justice announced the introduction of draft legislation proposing changes to the way the “Ogden” rates are set in future. The Ogden rates are discount rates used to calculate the current value of compensation payments awarded for personal injury claims, taking into account investments that an individual is likely to make and the expected return on these. The lower the Ogden... Read More
  • August 31
    Can we gain from the Blockchain?
    ​If comments in the press are anything to go by, we are on the cusp of the next big shift in technology and its potential to transform the way we do business and even lead our daily lives. Dubbed the “Internet 2.0”, the Blockchain is actually a form of Distributed Ledger Technology, a method for securely processing and recording transactions in a shared ledger that is stored across a decentralise... Read More
  • August 22
    Adding some balance to the Barclays debate
    ​In The Times today, Patrick Hosking lambasts the deal that Barclays have done with its UK pension scheme and criticises the rest of the media for being silent on this issue, which was described at the end of last month in Barclays’ interim results. It is easy to be critical of big banks, seen by many as the cause of the financial crisis from which the UK is arguably still recovering and in the ... Read More
  • August 11
    Tata Steel Pensions Deal
    ​This morning I was asked to appear on Radio 4's Today programme, to discuss an imminent announcement about the future of the British Steel Pension Scheme (the BSPS). A series of press releases duly appeared at lunch-time today. For the most part the statements from the Pensions Regulator (TPR), Tata and the Trustee of the BSPS simply reiterate the statements Tata made when announcing their May ... Read More
  • July 24
    Plugging the adequacy gap
    The International Longevity Centre UK have released a new report entitled “The Global Savings Gap” which assesses pension systems in 30 developed countries in two main areas – “adequacy” and “intergenerational fairness”. The report raises a lot of interesting points, especially when considering how pensions might be funded in the long term. This blog considers the “adequacy” points for the UK in ... Read More
  • July 18
    Headline Marmot Indicators might not indicate headlines
    ​Professor Sir Michael Marmot, director of the Institute of Health Equity, has today warned that rate of increase in life expectancy is “pretty close to having ground to a halt” over the past five years. Sir Michael mentioned concerns about “miserly” spending on health and social care but stressed that he could not make any conclusions about the drivers behind the stagnation in life expectancy. N... Read More
  • July 11
    Pity the poor pension trustees and members
    Carillion was in the news overnight for all the wrong reasons, as contract write downs turned investor sentiment sour, the shares now having falling more than 50% from their Friday close. Matthew Vincent’s story for the FT (see here) led with questioning how professional investment managers had allowed Carillion’s over optimism to blind them to clear cut warning signs to sell out and move on to ... Read More