The very thought of driving in an internet-enabled vehicle, let alone the type of robot cars that Google and others are now contemplating, sends a shiver up my spine. This is not exclusively a product of the types of dystopian sci-fi I read and watched growing up. It is anxiety born out of knowledge about the vulnerabilities which such vehicles already have, and the ways in which they can be exploited.Read article
Gone are the days when a business could simply come up with an idea or create a product and through clever marketing alone turn a profit. These days a new, streamlined approach is needed, especially in the technology sector where competition is fierce – the name of this approach is “Lean Thinking”. Henry Ford’s operations in the 1920s are the epitome of Lean Thinking, but current examples in the technology sector include Google and IBM.
Article originally published by The Business Magazine
It has been over two years since the first employers automatically enrolled their eligible workers into a work place pension scheme.
The Pension Protection Fund (“PPF”) has published its Triennium Policy Statement and Consultation Document, outlining the levy structure which will apply for the next three years until 2017/18. This confirmed the results of the consultation issued in May, introducing a new “PPF specific” risk scoring system with a new measure to assess the risk that a scheme employer will experience an insolvency event during the levy year. The Consultation Document also confirmed the move to a new insolvency risk provider – Experian with effect from 31 October 2014.
The 2014 budget announcement made by George Osborne in relation to pensions came as a surprise to many in the pension industry as overnight he transformed the manner in which members of money purchase scheme will be able to access the benefits that they have built up prior to retirement.
As a further measure to boost pension saving, the DWP has announced that from October 2015 short service refunds for trust-based defined contribution occupational pension schemes for members with less than two years’ pensionable service will be abolished.
A recent pensions case involving the Britax Pension Fund (the "Britax Scheme") addresses the issue of when limitation periods start to run where damage claimed is not immediately apparent.
A decision made by the Deputy Pension Ombudsman (DPO) has highlighted the difficulties for trustees when trying to recover overpayments from members. The determination held that a trustee was time-barred from seeking the recovery of certain overpayments where they could have been discovered with reasonable diligence. Additionally, in beginning the recovery of the overpayment without the member’s agreement, it was held that the trustee had breached section 91 of the Pensions Act 1995, amounting to maladministration.
At the end of October the Pension Protection Fund announced that it had come to an agreement with Monarch Airlines and the Pensions Regulator to accept the Monarch Airlines Limited Retirement Benefit Scheme into a PPF assessment period. The agreement, reached after discussions between the parties and the Trustees of the Scheme will enable the airline to restructure its business and accept £125m in new capital and liquidity facilities from Greybull Capital LLP in return for a 90 per cent shareholding.
When an employer ceases to participate in a multi-employer scheme and there is no segregation of part of the scheme assets to provide benefits for affected members, this is a last man standing (LMS) scheme.
The annual allowance charge tax rules introduced in the Finance Act 2011 are due to be amended to counter unintended charges for members who transfer from an underfunded pension scheme to another pension scheme.
The handover for the regulation of activity caught by the Consumer Credit Act completed early last year and the grace period for the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) not taking action, provided firms have adhered to existing Office of Fair Trading guidance and Consumer Credit Act requirements, will expire at the end of March 2015.