PensionsperspectivesNews and views for occupational pension schemesIssue 3                                                ...
Pensions Perspectives: news and views for DB pension schemes                                      April 2012To certify or ...
Pensions Perspectives: news and views for DB pension schemes                                   April 2012The extent to whi...
Pensions Perspectives: news and views for DB pension schemes                                      April 2012The effects of...
Pensions Perspectives: news and views for DB pension schemes                                     April 2012Auto-enrolment ...
Pensions Perspectives: news and views for DB pension schemes                                  April 2012 Getting money bac...
Pensions Perspectives: news and views for pension schemes                                        April 2012Key contacts in...
Pensions Perspectives: news and views for DB pension schemes                                  April 2012Grant Thorntons se...
Pensions Perspectives: news and views for pension schemes                                          April 2012Scheme Financ...
Pensions Perspectives: news and views for pension schemes                                      April 2012Asset Tracing and...
Pensions Perspectives: news and views for pension schemes                                                            April...
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Grant Thornton - Pensions Perspectives Newsletter UK 2012

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Grant Thornton - Pensions Perspectives Newsletter UK 2012

  1. 1. PensionsperspectivesNews and views for occupational pension schemesIssue 3 April 2012Welcome to the third in our Grant Thornton has a dedicated team of partners and professional staff who focus solely on advising on issuesseries of newsletters, which we around pension schemes. We provide integratedhope offer some insight, assurance, advisory and actuarial services on all aspectsexperience and opinion gained in of pension scheme design, risk management andthe course of our work with our financial assessment. We work closely with employers, trustees, regulators, stakeholders and high net worthTrustee and corporate clients and individuals to offer expertise and advice and deliverin the industry in general. effective pension scheme funding solutions and pension At a time when the pensions landscape risk evaluation and mitigation.continues to change at an unprecedented In this edition, we provide further technical insights,rate and when the recent Eurozone crisis including in relation to the verification of the Pensionhas left many pension scheme trustees and Protection Fund guarantee, we ask if de-risking isemployers wondering what will happen affordable in the current economic climate and wenext, the right advice on how pensions include some news about our own pensions teams.obligations and their risks can be managedcan make all the difference. Contents To certify or not to certify: trustee verification of the PPF guarantee 2-3 The effects of market volatility on the buy-out market 4 Auto-enrolment is on the way: are you match fit? 5 Getting money back from the VAT man 6 Key contacts in Pensions 7 Grant Thorntons services for pension schemes 8Pensions Perspectives: news and views for DB pension schemes April 2012
  2. 2. Pensions Perspectives: news and views for DB pension schemes April 2012To certify or not to certify:trustee verification of thePPF guaranteeIn our November 2011 issue we meet its full commitment under the contingent asset. This negative statement is intended to be less onerouscommented on the Pension Protection by removing the burden of having to positivelyFunds (PPFs) Consultation Document confirm the financial position of the guarantor.on the 2012/13 levy, a key feature of Implications and areas of uncertaintywhich was the proposed changes to the So what exactly is required of trustees under this newway in which the PPF will recognise certification framework? The Guidance states thatcontingent assets. whilst it does not generally expect trustees to There are three types of contingent asset that can undertake a covenant review of the guarantor as partreduce the amount of risk-based levy payable by of the certification process, trustees should havedefined benefit pension schemes: guarantees given by taken reasonable and proportionate steps to reassuregroup companies (Type A contingent assets), security themselves as to whether the guarantor has sufficientover cash or real estate, and securities, letters of credit value as a business to underwrite the liabilities that itand bank guarantees. has guaranteed. But what exactly is reasonable and proportionate?Revised statement on certification of Type A How should trustees approach the new requirementcontingent assets and how far do they need to go to assess aA key feature of the new framework proposed by the guarantors ability to pay?Consultation Document was that trustees would be As the PPF acknowledges there will be some casesrequired to certify that guarantors could be expected which are clear cut where very little additional workto meet their full commitment under the guarantee if will need to be undertaken by trustees. However, innecessary. This was intended to stop the practice of our opinion, these black and white cases where theguarantees being put in place with the main purpose strength or lack of strength of the guarantor is clearlyof reducing the levy rather than actually serving to evident, will not make up the majority. It is the greyimprove the position of the scheme. area, where the strength, or the lack of strength of the Whilst this move was in general welcomed, there guarantor may not be so immediately obvious wherewere reservations as to how the Consultation trustees may need support and advice.Document was advocating that this should take placeand the additional, but ill-defined and potentially Potential areas of concernonerous, responsibilities that were being placed on Areas where trustees may need to seek advice includetrustees. appreciating the extent to which a groups structure The final draft of the PPFs Guidance in Relation to impacts on the value of the guarantee.Contingent Assets was issued in December 2011 and PPF guarantees have frequently been offered byincluded a revised and, according to the Guidance, non-trading companies whose assets are principallyrelaxed statement on the certification of Type A derived from the group (for example investments inguarantees. In contrast to the positive statement subsidiaries and inter-company debt), in some casesrequired by the Consultation Document, trustees are mainly from the employer to the scheme. In thesenow required to make a negative pledge and certify cases the guarantee is likely to offer little additionalthat they have no reason to believe that each support to that already available from the employerguarantor, as at the date of the certificate, could not itself.Trustee verification of the PPF levy Page 2
  3. 3. Pensions Perspectives: news and views for DB pension schemes April 2012The extent to which a guarantor is able to realise its the return to the scheme on insolvency of thekey assets can also be a limiting factor. Unless a employer.guarantor holds sufficient cash or liquid assets to Timing issuessettle its commitments under the guarantee then Trustees are required to consider the ability of theextracting value at the time it is required may not be guarantor to meet its commitments at the date of thepossible. certificate, which will be renewed annually. This If meeting the guaranteed amount requires that the presents another challenge for trustees as publiclyguarantor accesses its banking facilities there may be available financial information is frequently over afurther issues, such as the extent of lending covenants year out of date and so does not reflect accurately thein place and cash management restrictions in the circumstances of the guarantor at the datewider group, that impact its ability to source funds certification is due to be made. The Guidance also states that it does not expecttrustees to consider the likely impact of any future Key messagesinsolvency of the schemes employer(s) on the If in any doubt, take advice prior to certification. Theguarantors ability to meet its full commitment. This PPF has stated that it will be reviewing submissions,seems counter-intuitive as the insolvency of an making its own investigations into guarantor strengthemployer is precisely the circumstance under which a and rejecting any contingent assets which it finds toPPF guarantee will be called. However it appears be deficient.that the purpose of this inclusion is to ensure that Trustees should retain information supporting theirtrustees are not overburdened with analysis or find it decision to certify a guarantee as this may benecessary to seek specialist advice where an requested by the PPF when it carries out its owninsolvency is unlikely, which will be a majority of investigations into guarantor strength.cases. Even though a contingent asset may not meet the In other words the trustees should consider the new criteria it may still strengthen the covenantcircumstances which could arise on the insolvency of afforded a scheme.the employer but they should not need to calculateContact For more information on any of the issues raised in this article, please contact DarrenGrant Thornton Mason on +44 (0)20 7728 2433 or Keith Hinds on +44 (0)20 7865 2716.Verification of the PPF Levy by Trustees Page 3
  4. 4. Pensions Perspectives: news and views for DB pension schemes April 2012The effects of market volatilityon the buy-out marketWe posed the following questions to Q: What challenges will possible future increases in demand hold from both the provider’s perspectiveKelvin Wilson, Head of Pension Risk and the pension scheme perspective?Solutions at Grant Thornton. These were A: As more pension schemes look to de-risk,his responses. providers will be faced with the challenge of increasing capacity and finding new sources ofQ: Do you believe that recent economic events within capital. They will also need to develop products thatthe Eurozone have had a significant impact on thelongevity swap and buy-out market? are accessible for schemes of varying sizes that are atA: Obviously, pension scheme liabilities have different stages on their de-risking journey plans.escalated in the low interest rate environment, but Scheme sponsors and trustees will need to implementthe impact really depends on the individual pension a good governance framework to deliver any de-schemes concerned. For pension schemes with fairly risking end game that they may have in a cost-mature liabilities below £100 million or where the effective manner. Most de-risking solutions will haveasset and liability durations match, we have found an associated cash cost, so it is important to ensurethat deterioration in their funding positions has not that the cash cost of removing a specific risk is atbeen so significant as to make de-risking options least lower than the cost of running that risk. Theresuch as pensioner buy-in or, in some cases, a buy-out will be the added complication of understanding howcompletely unaffordable. In addition, sponsors a schemes asset and liability profile will evolve overgenerating a cash windfall are quite happy to engage time such that the trustee and the employer are ablein this arena right now. Other pension schemes may to put in place action based de-risking triggers.need to prioritise recovering their funding position as Q: What is your view of the future outlook for longevity hedging and swaps markets?there are currently few funded solutions on the A: In order for longevity swaps to become amarket for pension schemes with large deficits. sustainable solution for the vast majority of pensionQ: What should pension schemes and providers be schemes, the market needs to evolve to become morethinking about before entering before de-risking ? accessible to pension schemes of all markets. ThisA: It is important that scheme trustees and sponsors will involve longevity swaps evolving into aunderstand what their objectives are, how they are standardised and transparent structure that pricesgoing to reach their objectives and the key aspects of pension schemes longevity risk based on benchmarkany process on which they embark. A better longevity assumptions. The criterion of the Life andunderstanding of the process and how the solutions Longevity Markets Association should help with thiswork means an easier and smoother process to by encouraging the creation of indices that will assisttransaction. The important questions to keep in mind in attracting investment from the capital markets andare what assets the scheme is invested in, have they increase liquidity.undertaken a scheme data cleansing exercise and dothe schemes stakeholders need to create a Q: What can and should the market do to evolve?subcommittee to implement a sub-governance A: The market needs new structures that takestructure that will allow quick and decisive decisions account of deficits in schemes and provide a pathto be taken? Providers need to appreciate that over time to de-risk, not necessarily immediately.different schemes have different funding levels and Providers need to devise a mechanism that allowsdiffering liability profiles. They need to structure their pension schemes to engage in de-risking, but whichsolutions in a way that considers the funding position doesn’t necessarily involve locking into low yields.of the scheme, the cash constraints of employers and Alternatively, if they do lock into low yields, thenfocus on de-risking a pension scheme over time, not allow flexibility in the structure of the transaction. It’snecessarily requiring immediate cash funding. all about innovation for me.Contact For more information on any of our Pension Scheme De-risking services , please contactGrant Thornton Kelvin Wilson on +44 (0)20 7865 2402The effects of market volatility on the Buy-out market
  5. 5. Pensions Perspectives: news and views for DB pension schemes April 2012Auto-enrolment is on theway: is the scheme match fit?Over the next three years employers will Retirement is a key phase in the life of a pension. When staff approach retirement, employers shouldhave to enrol staff automatically into a help them to understand the difficult decisions theypension scheme. Those outside the need to make. It will make all the difference and ifpublic sector are likely to consider using a they think kindly of the scheme, it will be reflected indefined contribution pension scheme. the views of other members. Employers have the choice of doing the minimumThis presents a number of challenges. and treating auto enrolment as a tax or embracing it The nature of auto enrolment is that the employee and treating it as an additional benefit to staff. Activedoes not have to make any choices at all. Do nothing engagement will only cost slightly more, but will giveand you are in. Evidence suggests that once in a much better value and make staff much morescheme, the contribution levels - and even more so enthused. Simple steps such as helping staff tothe funds - are rarely changed. Many employees will review where their money is invested or what theytherefore not increase their contribution or move need to pay can make a great difference. Whilstfrom the default fund. pensions can be complicated, these are the only two Selecting a suitable default fund is key. Staff decisions members really need to make. Once theygenerally covers a wide range of ages and salary bands are comfortable with what they need to do, theand will have varying financial experience. One fund pension scheme takes a completely differentmay not be suitable for all. It may therefore be perspective. If it forms part of their life plan, it will bebeneficial for employers to consider segmenting the a greater reason for them to stay. Therefore engageworkforce and having a different default for each. with staff and make communications simple and More fundamentally, the scheme itself may need to practical. Review the default fund to make sure itbe reviewed. Tucked away in the small print, many remains fit for purpose and embrace the scheme.providers reserve the right to change the terms i.e. The pensions regulators six principles for definedcharges of the scheme, if its profile changes contribution schemes provide additional ways offundamentally. Typically, it is the lower paid who do helping to ensure a scheme is match fit for autonot join (or are not invited to join) the pension enrolment. These relate to all schemes of all sizes.scheme. Therefore auto enrolment is likely to reduce If employers embrace the pension scheme and autothe average premium of many schemes, triggering a enrolment, staff are more likely to do the same.possible hike in charges. There are ways of solvingthis conundrum to the benefit of all if it is addressedin good time.Contact To discuss any Employer Solutions issues, please contact Ian Hartnell on +44 (0)20 7728Grant Thornton 3018 or Chris Faulkner on +44 (0)20 7728 3142.Auto-enrolment is on the way Page 5
  6. 6. Pensions Perspectives: news and views for DB pension schemes April 2012 Getting money back from the VAT manThe subject of pension schemes has administration and management of the pension scheme. This is because they cease to be an employer.caused many a laymans eye to glaze over Unless the pension scheme is VAT-registered in itsand drift to more uplifting thoughts. It will own right the remaining 70% will be lost.therefore be no surprise to most of you Voluntary VAT registrationthat the combined subject of pension Investment management fees are likely to represent a significant VAT cost for schemes that hold their ownschemes and VAT has failed to raise assets under management rather than in pooled funds.heartbeats or stimulate significant interest However, there is scope to reduce VAT costs bothbeyond the most hardened of pensions prospectively and retrospectively. The sale of non EUtrustees. securities gives a right of VAT registration for the It would be overly optimistic to believe that this is pension scheme. In some instances, this could resultlikely to change but if we forget the label VAT and in a refund of VAT to the pension scheme onjust consider the cash that VAT represents, it is investment costs dating as far back as 1973! Normally,relatively easy to demonstrate the increased returns a voluntary registration would allow for a four-yearfrom which a pension scheme could benefit, through claim in addition to the on-going benefit.judicious management of indirect taxes. There are also Wheels Common Investment Fundcurrent legal challenges that potentially could unlock Finally, the European Court of Justice is currentlysignificant sums for pension funds in the coming years. considering a case taken jointly by the NationalProperty - VAT registration Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) and WheelsWhere the scheme invests in its own property, there Common Investment Fund (WCIF). The argument inmay be the opportunity to voluntarily opt to tax the this case is that investment management servicesproperty and apply for VAT registration. This would supplied to a defined benefit pension schemes shouldapply to commercial property that is tenanted by be exempt from VAT. NAPF estimates that ifbusinesses that can normally recover their VAT. By successful this could save defined benefit pensiondoing so the pension scheme can unlock irrecoverable schemes £100m per year. Many fund managers haveVAT relating to the property going forward (as well as submitted protective claims but pension schemes arerelated administration costs). encouraged to contact their current and historic fund managers to ensure their position has been protected.Management fees and 30:70 split A further twist to this case is that earlier this monthFees charged for the administration and management the High Court considered a comparable situation forof a pension scheme (but not investment management) investment trust companies and concluded that VATcan be recovered by the employer (assuming the that could not be recovered from fund managers couldemployer is VAT registered and normally entitled to be sought directly from HMRC by way of a claim forrecover all its VAT). If a fund manager has not split restitution. This case is likely to run for some time andits invoices between management and investment, therefore it is important that pension funds takeHMRC accept an arbitrary 30/70 split. It is always professional advice as to how best to protect theirworth reviewing the procedures relating to position. The areas highlighted above show theadministration costs to minimize any VAT leakage. benefits for pension scheme trustees in reviewing their HMRCs view is that where the business ceases VAT accounting procedures and the potential cashtrading (e.g. because of insolvency), the company is no that could be unlocked.longer able to recover VAT incurred on the Contact For more information on issues around Pensions and Tax , please contact Dana Ward on Grant Thornton +44 (0)20 7728 3316. Getting money back from the VATman Page 6
  7. 7. Pensions Perspectives: news and views for pension schemes April 2012Key contacts in PensionsHere is a full list of contacts in Grant Thorntons Pensions teams so you can find uswhen you need us.Pension Scheme Advisory Pension Scheme AuditDarren Mason Keith Hinds Judith Newton Neil KnightsPartner Partner Partner DirectorT +44 (0)20 7728 2433 T +44 (0)20 7865 2716 T +44 (0)1908 359657 T 44 (0)20 7865 2873M +44 (0)7971 434964 M +44 (0)7802 306831 M +44 (0)7778 621979 M +44 (0)07794 030990E darren.m.mason@uk.gt.com E keith.hinds@uk.gt.com E judith.newton@uk.gt.com E neil.a.knights@uk.gt.comActuarial Services De-risking Asset TracingPaul Cook Robert Gibson Kelvin Wilson Nick WoodHead of Actuarial & Risk Senior Manager Associate Director PartnerT +44 (0)20 7728 3070 T +44 (0)20 7728 2948 T +44 (0)20 7865 2402 T +44 (0)20 7728 2426M +44 (0)7798 865205 M +44 (0)7970 352973 M +44 (0)7879 667 208 M +44 (0)7971 185154E paul.cook@uk.gt.com E robert.j.gibson@uk.gt.com E kelvin.wilson@uk.gt.com E nick.s.wood@uk.gt.comEmployee Benefits Taxation Individual AdviceIan Hartnell Chris Faulkner Dana Ward Neil MessengerDirector Senior Manager Partner PartnerT +44 (0)20 7728 3018 T +44 (0) 20 7728 3142 T +44 (0)7728 3316 T +44 (0)114 2629712M +44 (0)7798 865205 M +44 (0)7906 610582 M +44 (0)7792 033334 M +44 (0)7966 446397E ian.hartnell@uk.gt.com E chris.faulkner@uk.gt.com E dana.ward@uk.gt.com E neil.messenger@uk.gt.comKey contacts for Pensions
  8. 8. Pensions Perspectives: news and views for DB pension schemes April 2012Grant Thorntons services forpension schemesGrant Thornton provides integrated assurance, advisory and actuarial services toorganisations on all aspects of pension scheme design, risk management and financialassessment. We work closely with boards of directors, trustees, regulators andstakeholders to deliver effective pension scheme funding solutions and pension riskevaluation and mitigation.Pensions Advisory Services Pension Scheme AuditOur specialist Pensions Advisory team advises A robust, efficient and high quality external audit istrustees and sponsoring employers on issues crucial to supporting the trustees overall stewardshipsurrounding employer covenant assessment, scheme and governance of occupational pension schemes.specific funding and the pensions transaction Grant Thorntons Pensions Assurance teamclearance procedure. As part of our advice, we will specialises in providing a risk based approach todeliver an accurate and individual analysis of a assurance over scheme financial statementsschemes covenant, providing sufficient and specifically tailored to the needs of pension schemeappropriate evidence to conclude on the financial trustees, delivered by an award winning, highlystrength of the sponsoring employer and its ability trained, specialist pensions assurance team.to make good any deficit or future shortfall in We provide assurance in the following ways:investment returns. • statutory audit Changes in pensions legislation require trustees • transition between administrators, investmentof defined benefit pensions schemes to monitor managers and custodiansclosely the covenant afforded to the scheme and to • independent valuation of complex investmentsreact to Type A events. We have considerable • integrity of member dataexperience, advising both trustees and employers in • benefit calculation reperformancethis area, and bring a unique insight into the • timeliness and accuracy of contributions • testing of internal controls, including AAF 01/06Pensions Regulator and Pension Protection Fund reportingfrom our close working relationship and multiple • assisting employer internal auditsecondments into these organisations. As corporate sponsors and trustees look to Our specialist Pensions Assurance team hasremove or reduce the risks involved in running their 23 partners and directors, more than 100 staff andDB pension schemes, we offer considerable acts for over 600 clients, including some of the largestexpertise in the area of pension scheme de-risking. and more complex schemes in the UK. OurWe provide independent advice on structured assurance services are enhanced by innovativesolutions & transactions to either transfer out or software solutions which allow us to interrogatemitigate risks including bulk purchase annuities, financial information more efficiently and effectively,longevity swaps, liability driven investment irrespective of volume, responding directly to thestrategies & making benefit changes. tailored risks of a particular scheme.Key contactsDarren Mason Keith Hinds Key contactsT +44 (0)20 7728 2433 T +44 (0) 20 7865 2716 Judith Newton Neil KnightsE darren.m.mason@uk.gt.com E keith.hinds@uk.gt.com T +44 (0)1908 359 657 T +44 (0)20 7865 2873 E judith.newton@uk.gt.com E neil.a.knights@uk.gt.comGrant Thorntons services for Pensions Page 8
  9. 9. Pensions Perspectives: news and views for pension schemes April 2012Scheme Financial Statements Preparation Scheme Governance and Risk ManagementAccurate and clear financial information, which The regulator has issued considerable guidance intrustees and their members can trust, is crucial to relation to scheme governance and trustee duties inthe stability and integrity of occupational pension relation to internal controls, and this is likely to be aschemes. We were delighted to be recognised as UK continuing drive to improve overall governancePension Scheme Accountant of the Year 2011, and standards in the industry. We regularly assist trusteesour award winning team are able to bring their and scheme management in their assessment of theexpertise and experience of best practice to a wide risks specific to their scheme, including fraud risk,range of schemes in assisting the trustees in the and the consideration of mitigating controls. We arepreparation of the annual financial statements, and able to facilitate trustee discussions and bring ourproviding accounting advice on all areas including wide sector experience of best practice to thosethe treatment of complex investments. discussions, assisting with the construction, and We are thought leaders in the pensions sector regular update, of specific scheme risk registers andand have regular dialogue with opinion formers in action plans to enhance scheme governance andthe industry. Grant Thornton, through Peter associated internal controls.Rowley, writes the authoritative ‘A Guide toAccounting for Pension Schemes’ which ispublished by the Institute of Chartered Accountantsin England and Wales.Key contact Key contactsNeil Knights Neil Knights Les DobieT +44 (0)20 7865 2873 T +44 (0)20 7865 2873 T +44 (0)20 7865 2578E neil.a.knights@uk.gt.com E neil.a.knights@uk.gt.com E les.dobie@uk.gt.comActuarial and FinanceGrant Thornton actuaries have considerable • Actuarial process reviewsexperience advising employers on pensions, • Business modellingparticularly issues relating to Defined Benefit (DB) • Pensions actuarial consultingpension schemes. • Derivative valuations Our actuarial background gives us a deep Our services are targeted at helping our clients betterunderstanding of the funding and valuation of understand the value drivers in their business,pension schemes. This can be critical when advising resulting in an information rich decision-makingon the impact of a benefit change or liability process.management programme, or in a transactionsituation. Key contact: Our expertise covers: Paul Cook T +44 (0)20 7728 3070• Valuing insurance liabilities E paul.cook@uk.gt.com• Embedded and appraisal valuesGrant Thorntons services for Pensions
  10. 10. Pensions Perspectives: news and views for pension schemes April 2012Asset Tracing and Recovery in Pension Employer BenefitsScheme Fraud ConsultingGrant Thornton is the UKs leading provider of Grant Thornton has a national employee benefitsspecialist asset tracing and recovery services to the team which advise on all aspects of pensions andvictims of fraud, offering solutions and advice in the benefits.following areas: We advise employers on the most effective• fraud investigations that minimise the benefits structure for staff and partners and help to consequences of fraud ensure that schemes are up to date and reflect current trends and legislation. We also help to• assistance with fraud reporting and presenting maximise the value of the plans by increasing findings in Court employee understanding and appreciation and• asset tracing of misappropriated assets and funds maximising the tax efficiency. The team are all• recovery of the proceeds of fraud and other highly qualified and as well as advising employers economic crime can also advise individual pension schemeOur team comprises forensic, insolvency and tax members. Offering benefits such as pensions usingprofessionals, supported by computer forensics salary sacrifice is becoming increasingly commonspecialists who provide expert advice and support at and our specialist employment taxes team can helpevery stage of the discovery, investigation avoid the pitfalls of ineffectual schemes.and recovery process. The employee benefits market place is ever To support pensions fraud assignments, we draw evolving and the team aim to be ahead of theupon the expertise of numerous leading pensions curve and have developed a number of innovativespecialists within Grant Thornton. Our track record solutions that can benefit staff whilst not incurringstands us apart. We are currently dealing with over extra spend, and in some cases producing savings.600 live fraud cases, with creditor claims for in excess The solutions are not just restricted to the UK andof $25 million. there are many opportunities internationally in areas such as pensions, life cover and healthcare. If the benefits suite has not been reviewed for some time, there are usually improvements and savings to be gained.Key contacts Key contactNick Wood Chris Boddy Ian HartnellT +44 (0)20 7728 2426 T +44 (0)20 7865 2387 Tel: +44 (0)20 7728 3018E nick.s.wood@uk.gt.com E chris.s.boddy@uk.gt.com Email: ian.hartnell@uk.gt.comGrant Thorntons services for Pensions
  11. 11. Pensions Perspectives: news and views for pension schemes April 2012 Individual Pensions Advice for Taxation Entrepreneurs & Individuals Our pension taxation team provides advice to Pensions can be a complex business for high-net businesses and has a deep technical understanding worth individuals and business owner-operators. of the subject, combined with high-quality client Along with the complexity and confusion of new service. We provide a single point of contact and products and personal schemes, the poor will give you an update on the status of any issue performance of pension schemes in recent years has at any time. We take full responsibility to ensure made many individuals shy away from pensions. The that the scheme meets all of its legal obligations. jargon and mystique surrounding pensions shrouds We have a rigorous review process in place to the huge benefit of pensions: they are a very tax ensure that all work is checked, all processes efficient investment wrapper, which can, in some documented and service is the highest quality. cases, provide over 50% relief on contributions that Specialising in the taxation of pensions and exceed £150,000 to £200,000. We understand all of collective investment vehicles, we design and the potential benefits and can provide bespoke advice launch products to ensure the most beneficial tax to help individuals to determine which particular advantages. pension scheme would provide them the best benefit. VAT: advising funds who want to invest in Our team can provide advice on getting the right property in the most tax efficient manner and investment strategy for each individual’s risk appetite ensuring that our clients are aware of any to ensure that the tax benefits of a pension can be impending changes in legislation to ensure that maximised. Pension schemes can also be used in they can take a pro-active approach to their VAT conjunction with an individual’s business, so a accounting. commercial property purchase can be owned by a Global Compliance Outsourcing Services: pension scheme or another investment vehicle to given the increasing complexity of pension realise the full value prior to the sale of the company. regulation, it may make more sense to outsource to our experienced team rather than spending time and resources building an in-house compliance team Key contact Key contact Dana Ward Neil Messenger T: +44 (0)20 7728 3316 T:+44 (0)7966 446397 E: dana.ward@uk.gt.com E: neil.messenger@uk.gt.com© 2012 Grant Thornton UK LLP. All rights reserved.‘Grant Thornton’ means Grant Thornton UK LLP, a limited liability partnership.Grant Thornton UK LLP is a member firm within Grant Thornton International Ltd (‘Grant Thornton International’).Grant Thornton International and the member firms are not a worldwide partnership. Services are delivered by the member firms independently. *www.grant-thornton.co.uk

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