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Brexit: is an 'accidental no deal' possible?

11 Dec 2018
The UK government's extraordinary decision on 10 December to delay the 'meaningful vote' on the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration (WA) has focused attention on 21 January 2019 as a key milestone in the Brexit process, and on the duties imposed on the government by the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018, section 13. The crucial question is whether the government's decision to delay the 'meaningful vote' increases the risk of an accidental 'no deal' Brexit due to the very short time remaining before expiry of the Article 50 notice on 29 March 2019.
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How much can pension scheme members expect on employer insolvency?

11 Dec 2018
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has confirmed, in Hampshire v the Board of the Pension Protection Fund, that each individual employee must be guaranteed to receive, on the insolvency of their employer, at least 50% of their accrued benefits under the employer's pension scheme. This has implications for the level of compensation paid by the Pension Protection Fund (PPF), as well as potential knock on effects for pension schemes which wind up outside of the PPF.
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GMP equalisation: what do employers and trustees need to do?

11 Dec 2018
The recent High Court judgment in Lloyds Banking Group Pensions Trustees Limited v Lloyds Bank plc and others (Lloyds) will have a significant impact on the many defined benefit pension schemes which were historically contracted out. It is possible that the judgment will be appealed and we would advise waiting until the appeal period has expired (yet to be confirmed, probably first quarter 2019) before implementing any changes to align your scheme with the decision, but if your scheme was formerly contracted out, you should be considering what steps to take in light of the decision.
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Gone but not forgotten? The demise of PFI

11 Dec 2018
During the course of his Budget speech on 29 October 2018 the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, said: "I have never signed off a PFI contract as Chancellor and I can confirm today that I never will". It might be nit-picking to point out that PFI as a procurement route was replaced by PF2 in 2012 so there is little chance that Mr Hammond would ever sign a PFI contract, but the wider point is that he went on to say that the Government has now abolished the use of PFI and PF2 for future projects.
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Article 50: ECJ rules that unilateral revocation is possible

10 Dec 2018
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that the UK could unilaterally revoke the notice that it gave in 2017 to withdraw from membership of the EU.However, withdrawal would require an Act of Parliament, both to authorise the UK government to revoke the Article 50 notice and to repeal elements of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 and other legislation that has made a "no deal" Brexit the default outcome of the current Parliamentary process.
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Devil in the detail? Recent lessons in death benefit decision-making?

08 Dec 2018
A recent Pensions Ombudsman decision reminds us that death benefit decision-making can often be a tricky area for trustees and employers to navigate. The Pensions Ombudsman has already made 23 determinations in relation to death benefits in 2018, the topic typically representing around 1 in 10 cases he hears each year.