Belfast Telegraph

Pension schemes ‘have stepped up Brexit preparations’

More than half (55%) of workplace pension schemes have taken specific action to reduce potential risks around Brexit, a survey found.

Workplace pension schemes have stepped up their Brexit preparations, a survey has found (Gareth Fuller/PA)
Workplace pension schemes have stepped up their Brexit preparations, a survey has found (Gareth Fuller/PA)

By Vicky Shaw, PA Personal Finance Correspondent

Workplace pension schemes have stepped up their Brexit preparations – with nearly two-thirds saying they have formally assessed the potential risks during the past year, a survey has found.

Some 63% said they had, while 32% had not, and some others did not know, the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) found.

The number formally looking at Brexit-related risks to their schemes has increased from just over a quarter (26%) who said they had done so in 2018.

More than half (55%) of workplace pension schemes have taken specific action to reduce risks related to Brexit, compared with 28% last year.

Our survey shows pension schemes have given a great deal of thought to the impact of Brexit on their operations and are well prepared. Savers should be reassured that their pensions are looked after James Walsh, Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association

Some had commissioned extra advice from professional advisers and changed their asset allocation, for example.

The PLSA surveyed pension schemes representing defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) funds.

Responses came from pension managers and directors, pension investment managers and directors, trustees and chairs of trustee boards.

James Walsh, head of member engagement, PLSA, said: “The PLSA has been engaging with the Government and regulators to ensure they fully understand pension schemes’ perspective on Brexit.

“We have also recommended actions for pension scheme trustees to ensure their scheme is well placed to deal with Brexit.

“Our survey shows pension schemes have given a great deal of thought to the impact of Brexit on their operations and are well prepared.

“Savers should be reassured that their pensions are looked after.”

He said some schemes’ concerns around Brexit were more focused on the impact on employers.

Mr Walsh continued: “This varies markedly depending on the nature of the business.

“For example, some pension schemes with sponsors in the retail sector are worried that hold-ups at the ports could disrupt business and weaken the company, but others tell us their sponsors are confident that their supply chains will remain robust or that their business is entirely based in the UK and will remain stable.”

PA

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