US - State and local government pension fund assets rose by 5.5% in the last quarter of 2010 as stock market gains helped recoup losses incurred since the financial crisis.
The assets of the 100 largest government employee retirement systems grew by $138bn to $2.64trn in the last three months of the year, reaching the highest level since the second quarter of 2008, figures from the US Census Bureau revealed.
Returns were driven by gains in stocks, corporate bonds and foreign assets, Census figures show, with stocks making up the largest share at 32% of holdings. Corporate bonds made up 16.4% and international securities 18.3%.
Employee and government combined contributions totalled $32bn in Q4, an increase of 18.1% from $27.1bn in Q4 2009. While both employee and government con¬tributions increased, government contributions grew at the faster rate of 22.3% compared to employee contributions, which grew at a rate of 9.2%, the research found.
This resulted in a 2.4 point shift in the composition of con¬tributions toward higher government contributions and lower employee contributions compared with the same quarter in 2009.
HMRC has confirmed providers operating relief at source pension schemes can continue to collect automatic tax relief at a basic rate of 20% under new Scottish Income Tax rules.
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is seeking "improved" powers to set a schedule of contributions in defined benefit (DB) schemes in the government's upcoming white paper, it has revealed.
New regulatory rules which require providers and advisers to produce annuity illustrations will not solve the problem of consumer detriment as they are "fundamentally" flawed, according to Retirement Advantage.
Paul Budgen is set to join financial technology and auto-enrolment (AE) firm Smart Pension as director of business development.