UK Pensions: Pension Deficit Increases Sharply As UK Exits EU
A recent Risk Survey shows that the accounting deficit of defined benefit (DB) pension schemes for the UK’s 350 largest listed companies increased from £40bn at the end of December 2019 to £57bn on 31 January. Liability values increased by £34bn to £916bn compared to £882bn at the end of December.
The increase was primarily driven by falls in corporate bond yields. Asset values were £859bn (an increase of £17bn compared to the corresponding figure of £842bn at the end of 2019).
Although funding positions have deteriorated this month, there are reasons to be optimistic about the outlook for pension schemes. The Bank of England just announced that it will not reduce interest rates this month due to signs that the economy is picking up.
Many schemes are reducing interest rate and inflation risks, and even reducing longevity and equity market risks down to minimal levels. This is good news. But we shouldn’t be complacent, there are still many potential pitfalls ahead. Trustees should be alert to market opportunities to take risk off the table.
Prepare Your Pension Scheme For Brexit
As the UK prepares to leave the European Union (EU) there are some areas we expect trustees of pension schemes offering defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) to focus on.
Use the information below to find out how to prepare your scheme for Brexit and the steps you may need to take.
Trustees of DB pension schemes should focus on areas such as investment, employer covenant and administration as the UK prepares to leave the EU:
Trustees of DC pension schemes should focus on areas such as investment, member communications and administration as the UK prepares to leave the EU.
Brexit impact on Expat Pensions
By formally invoking article 50, Prime Minister May started the Brexit process. What might be the implications of a Hard/Soft Brexit on Expat pensions? The UK government has since several years been rather keen on reducing tax benefits on expat pensions. Thus the more strict regime for UK Qrops as of June this year.
Post Brexit the UK government is no longer restricted by EU regulations, they might further introduce new limitations on the expat pension (tax) regime. Regarding UK State Pensions currently UK nationals living in the EU enjoy equal annual indexation thereof but this might change by Brexit. Furthermore a central issue is the mobility of expat pensions Post Brexit.
Currently it is i.e. possible to transfer UK pension capital to a Dutch expat pension plan. Whereas the EU is working on the expansion of the true Pan European Pension Plan (PEPP) and its free mobility within the EU, the mobility of the expat pension plan between the EU and the UK might severly be limited by Brexit. For (UK) expats its seems advisable to pay attention and have several options ready. Feel free to contact us as we are experienced in advising (UK) expats.