Throughout 2014 we analysed the big changes coming through in the pensions industry. Here's the ten that you liked the best.
1. Three reasons people will use their pensions to buy property from next April
The 2014 Budget will allow people to take their pensions as a lump sum subject to their marginal rate of tax. This has prompted much speculation as to what people will do with this money. In this article we looked at why people may choose to buy property.
2. The ten biggest longevity swaps
2014 was a record breaking year in the de-risking market. In this article we took a look at the ten biggest longevity swaps completed so far.
3. IBM high court case waltz fails to impress judge
In April The High Court ruled the British subsidiary of the multinational computing firm IBM had breached its duty of good faith to some 5,000 members by closing its DB schemes to accrual and imposing a restrictive early retirement policy.
The 2009 changes, dubbed Project Waltz by IBM, contradicted the "reasonable expectations" of members, which were based on the company's stance during previous scheme overhauls.
4. Is pension tax relief next in line for radical reform?
With the pensions industry still reeling from the changes brought through in March's Budget thoughts turned to what could be the next big change. Barnett Waddingham senior consultant Malcolm McLean puts forward his argument for tax relief changes.
5. A brief history of GMP equalisation
GMP equalisation has been a major issue for pension schemes for several years now. As a result it comes as no surprise that this analysis written back in 2012 is still popular with readers.
6. Gleeds retirement benefit scheme and the £45m mistake
The Gleeds Retirement Scheme took steps to reduce costs in its DB scheme. However, it then emerged the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989 brought with it some very specific rules around the execution of deeds - specifically, how signatures were witnessed.
While trustees' signatures had been appropriately witnessed, signatures from the sponsors' partners were not, meaning documents from 1989 - and some before - did not stand.
7. DB-DC transfers: The challenges
One of the important things to come out of the Budget was the ability for DB scheme members to transfer out into a DC pension scheme. However, such a move has implications for DB schemes as this analysis showed.
8. Pensions Bill's revolutionary changes heap burdens on industry and savers
Industry figures warned that the Taxation of Pensions Bill published in October will put more responsibility on savers and ultimately increase the burden on providers.
The bill overhauls the treatment of the tax-free lump sums. Under current rules people can take 25% of pension savings as a tax-free lump sum from the age of 55. But the bill introduces measures to let people dip into their pension pot when they want, and each time 25% of what they take out will be tax-free.
Commentators welcomed the increased flexibility, but warned that allowing members to use their pension pot "like a bank account" could throw up problems.
9. Kodak case study: Breaking bad news
This case study looked at the Kodak Pension Plan's efforts to engage with members after its sponsor entered bankruptcy proceedings. The plan won Best Member Initiative in this year's Pension Scheme of the Year awards.
10. GMP reconciliation: The final countdown
Guaranteed minimum pension (GMP) reconciliation has been on the agenda for most contracted out defined benefit (DB) schemes for some time now. But with the end of contracting out less than 18 months away the issue has taken on a new urgency.
PTL has appointed Karein Davie as a client director in its Birmingham office.
The level of interest rate hedging increased to £29.5bn of liabilities in the second quarter as pension funds continued to de-risk, according to BMO Global Asset Management's research.
UK inflation has risen for the first time since November to 2.5% in July, up from 2.4% in June, thanks to rising fuel costs and the price of computer games.
The number of DB pension scheme trustees targeting a buyout with an insurer has increased significantly in the past five years, latest research from Willis Towers Watson shows.