UK DB schemes see big bulk-annuity opportunities in wake of Brexit

first_imgTrustees and sponsors of defined benefit (DB) pension schemes in the UK need to take another look at risk levels in their schemes given the swiftly changing Brexit environment, and could cash in on good bulk-annuity opportunities as pricing fluctuates, according to consultants.Mercer’s UK leader of bulk pensions insurance advisory, David Ellis, said: “Rapidly changing political and economic circumstances following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union have reinforced the need for trustees and sponsors to look again at their pension schemes.”In the company’s latest market review of UK DB bulk pensions insurance, he said trustees and sponsors should check that what they were doing continued to be relevant, and that the scheme’s overall level of risk was still appropriate.In the second half of this year, market volatility will be a key theme, said Harry Harper of the Mercer division. “There is potential for significant bulk-annuity pricing opportunities to appear, for those in the right place at the right time,” he said.The second half promises to be “interesting” now that the volume of quotation requests from pension schemes increased rapidly mid-year, he said.“The nature of the quotation requests is also changing – instead of the pensioner-only pricing requests from earlier in 2016, we now see a growing number of exercises that include deferred members,” Harper said.On deferred member pricing, he said the wide range seen since the introduction of Solvency II from 1 January 2016 showed indications of stabilising. “We see signs of more aggressive pricing for those members in the second half of the year,” he said. Meanwhile, Aon Hewitt said in its UK bulk-annuity market update that, over the first half of this year, bulk annuity pricing had improved year on year relative to other asset classes used to back pension liabilities.Volatile financial markets following the EU referendum in the UK have created pricing opportunities, it said.“Some providers indicated that their pricing improved materially relative to Gilts in the first days after the Brexit vote, driven by a widening in credit spreads,” Aon Hewitt said in the report. “This was an excellent opportunity for schemes seeking to settle risk.”Of course, schemes need to be actively in the market to get such deals, it added.“A scheme can engage with the market, obtain competitive quotations, select a preferred insurer, agree terms and then monitor movements in the insurer’s pricing against an agreed trigger,” the firm said.In the first half of July, it said credit spreads had fallen back – “but there is every chance of further market disruption over the coming months given the political environment”. Earlier this week, the closed ICI Pension Fund insured £750m (€891m) of its DB liabilities with Legal & General, in its fifth buy-in, just after the EU referendum.L&G commented that the “strength and depth” of its relationship with the ICI Pension Fund had allowed it to move fast when the market opportunity arose.last_img read more

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Record year as Buncrana reports shopping voucher surge

first_imgBuncrana Chamber of Commerce have reported a huge increase in the past two years, of local Buncrana Shopping Vouchers, which the Chamber operates for the benefit of local businesses. Sales have increased from €42,000 at the end of 2014, to almost treble that figure, with sales of just over €120,000 at the end of year for 2016.Welcoming the increase in the voucher sales, Chamber President Ryan Stewart said it is a huge endorsement of the ‘Shop Local’ ethos the Chamber is trying to promote. “At a time when exchange rates seemed to favour shopping in the north, it’s clear that the message is getting through, and has the support of local people. We have even had online orders for the vouchers from as far away as Australia, with people using the vouchers as a cost-effective way of sending presents home!”“As well as the rebranding and marketing of the vouchers, one of the main reasons for the increase is that more and more local employers are availing of the tax benefits associated with the vouchers. Employers can pay staff up to €500 tax-free in vouchers, which is ideal for Christmas bonuses, for example. If employers had paid their staff in cash, this would be taxed. We have been driving this message forward over the past two years, and it’s working for the benefit of all of our members.“You don’t have to be a Chamber member to avail of the tax benefits available by giving these vouchers to your staff, but you do have to be a member if you want to redeem these vouchers for cash from shoppers, so, in short, there’s €120,000 worth of vouchers which need to be redeemed, so join up now.”He thanked all the retailers who sell these vouchers saying they were inundated in the run up to Christmas, and did a great job promoting the vouchers to local shoppers. Buncrana Shopping vouchers are available from Macs Bookshop, SuperValu Buncrana, the Lunch Box, Farrens Mace and Bradleys Fahan.Mr Stewart is stepping down from his role in the Chamber this week, and has added that he has welcomed the support he received during his time in the Chamber.“It has been very rewarding personally, and I have to thank all of the local businesses, as well as the committee, who supported what we have been trying to achieve over the past two years. A new board is due to be elected next week, and I would strongly urge those in business locally to get more involved in the Chamber. The Chamber is now very well resourced to deliver even more value for the town, but input is needed. A small amount of your time can go a very long way.”Record year as Buncrana reports shopping voucher surge was last modified: February 15th, 2017 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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DONEGAL WOMAN QUITS POST AT IRISH COUNTRY MUSIC RADIO

first_imgWell-known Donegal singer and DJ Dee Brown has quit her position at Irish Country Music Radio.Ms Brown, from Raphoe, has not given a reason for her decision but said it was a sad decision for her.“I have been left with no choice. Certain things have happened over that past few days that have really disappointed me. “These are people that I truly had respect for and I feel there is no way back. “I can’t comment on their decisions other than to do whats right for me, thank you for all your support and I look forward to the future and whatever it may bring,” she said.Ms Brown has been inundated with messages of support on her Facebook page last night by family and friends.Ms Brown is well known through Donegal and the north-west as part of the band , The She Amigos and was popular with listeners with her show The Donegal Doll.  DONEGAL WOMAN QUITS POST AT IRISH COUNTRY MUSIC RADIO was last modified: May 2nd, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Dee BrownIrish Country MUsic RadioThe She Amigoslast_img read more

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