British Airways sues trustees over additional indexation offer

first_img“We regret that the trustees have not heeded concerns expressed by both ourselves and the Pensions Regulator.”APS trustee chairman Paul Spencer said the trustee board’s approach to additional indexation was prudent and that its estimated cost of £12m over the lifetime of the scheme was affordable.He added: “We are naturally disappointed that BA has taken the step to test our decision to grant an increase in court but remain convinced that we have acted in the best interests of the scheme members and are pleased that the extent of our powers will now be clarified for the future.A statement from the trustees added that the 0.2% additional increase was only half of the difference between the CPI and retail prices index (RPI) – the measure employed until recently to offer statutory indexation.The airline said it did not believe the long-term security of benefits should be put at risk “for the advantage of retirees who already enjoy more generous pensions”.“In these circumstances, we are left with no alternative but to pursue legal action with the objective of preventing the additional increase going ahead.”APS noted that the court proceedings would not affect the 2.2% increase in benefits, but that the additional increase would only be applied once the case had been resolved. British Airways is suing the trustees of one of its pension funds over their decision to grant additional indexation, despite the scheme’s £680m (€813m) deficit.Trustees of the £7bn Airways Pension Scheme (APS), the older of the UK flag carrier’s two DB arrangements, said they had decided to increase benefits by 0.2%, in addition to the 2.2% indexation already offered to members, in line with the UK consumer prices index (CPI).However, the scheme sponsor said it was “concerned” by the precedent set by offering further benefit increases.The airline said in a statement: “If allowed to stand, this decision can only add to the scheme’s liabilities and make resolution of the deficit more difficult.last_img read more

Association of British Insurers to promote UK pensions dashboard

first_imgThe ABI said the next phase of the pensions dashboard should include finalising the governance framework between industry, government and regulators; developing a prototype to test the technology and see how the dashboard could work for customers; and collaborating with the wider industry and interested FinTech start-ups.Yvonne Braun, ABI director of policy, long-term savings and protection, said: “The Pensions Finder project has laid the foundation for delivering this crucial project, and its momentum must continue.“As a project that is expected to be industry-led and funded, the ABI is best placed to take forward the next phase to deliver the pensions dashboard.“We know we cannot do this alone. We want to work with government and the wider industry so the dashboard can help customers with public sector pensions and those in trust-based schemes.”But pension professionals warned that the dashboard would require appropriate governance.Graham Vidler, director of external affairs at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, said: “To make serious progress with a dashboard, we need clarity over its objectives, independence in its governance and realism in its development timetable. It should be governed independently with the involvement of government and regulators.”He added: “Once objectives and governance are clear, it should seek to make progress in phases, starting where the majority of automatically enrolled savers are – a small number of master trusts and insurers. The governance framework set out in this report is a useful basis for moving forward.”Steve Webb, director of policy at Royal London and a former pensions minister, said the recent White Paper sees a single dashboard hosted by a public sector or not-for-profit body – the model preferred by consumers – as a transitional step to a ‘white-labelled’ approach, where dashboard data displayed is integrated with information from the user’s bank or pension provider. “The White Paper acknowledges that a ‘big bang’ approach, where all pension data can be seen on day one, is unrealistic,” he said.“It suggests that the first data to be made available should include state pensions, new defined contribution pensions created under auto-enrolment and perhaps some public sector defined benefit rights.”But he warned: “There would still be an awfully long distance to travel after this, including legacy rights, individual pensions such as self-invested personal pensions, and even other savings vehicles such as the new ‘lifetime’ individual savings account. “Without strong leadership, particularly from government, the dashboard initiative will continue to be little more than an aspiration.”Gail Moss outlines what the UK can learn from Scandinavia as it seeks to implement a pensions dashboard by 2019 The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has committed to taking forward the next phase of a UK pensions dashboard, including potentially creating a prototype.The announcement came at the launch of the Pension Finder White Paper, outlining how the dashboard could be created.The White Paper was drawn up by the Pension Finder working group, a collaboration of 14 organisations led by the Money Advice Service and including the ABI, Aviva, NEST and Standard Life.It included recommendations on a dashboard model, implementation and governance.last_img read more

Santander’s UK pension CIO exits

first_imgAntony Barker, head of pensions and chief investment officer at Santander’s UK pension fund, is set to leave the group, IPE has learned.He joined the group in 2012 from Jardine Lloyd Thompson, where he was director of investment advisory for pension funds. He had previously held similar roles at BNP Paribas and Deloitte.IPE understands Barker is soon to leave Santander. A spokesman for Santander declined to comment.Since joining the £10bn (€11.5bn) defined benefit (DB) pension fund, Barker has brought in a diversification policy to broaden the scheme’s investments beyond equities and bonds. The Santander UK Group Pension Scheme’s portfolio now includes real estate and a number of private equity partnerships, as well as private debt and global credit. Santander’s UK pensions schemes had a combined surplus of £175m at the end of 2016, according to the bank’s latest annual report.In 2015, Barker predicted a sector-wide banking pension scheme that he said could more easily compete with larger Canadian and Asian institutions. UK bank DB schemes are among the largest corporate pension funds in the country.In December Santander’s UK Group Pension Scheme Common Fund won an IPE award for diversification, and in 2015 it won a Silver award for its overall proposition.last_img read more

CEE pension fund tenders infra, direct lending mandates via IPE Quest

first_imgThe investor said it was open to funds with a particular strategy, such as a focus on renewable energy, and funds with a diversified infrastructure exposure.It said it would consider hedged and unhedged investment structures denominated in US dollars.The pension fund’s return target is net 6% or more on a Euro-hedged basis, and net 8% or more for US dollars.Managers should have at least €1.5bn of assets under management for the asset class in question.The pension fund’s direct lending mandate is targeting senior secured loans to companies in the lower-middle and middle-market brackets, meaning with revenue of around $500m (€422m) or EBITDA of $100m.Managers should have at least €1bn of assets under management in direct lending.The deadline for applications is 8 December for both mandates. Applicants should state performance gross of fees to 31 October.The IPE news team is unable to answer any further questions about IPE Quest, Discovery, or Innovation tender notices to protect the interests of clients conducting the search. To obtain information directly from IPE Quest , please contact Jayna Vishram on +44 (0) 20 3465 9330 or email [email protected] . A central European pension fund is using IPE Quest to search for direct infrastructure and direct lending managers.According to searches QN-2381 and QN-2380, respectively, the pension fund wants to allocate €50m-100m to US direct lending, and €75m-100m to direct infrastructure investments.The infrastructure mandate is for equity investments in OECD countries. The pension fund said it was not yet planning co-investments and wanted a commingled private fund that makes direct infrastructure investments.The fund should be collective, although a managed account was not out of the question, the fund said.last_img read more

UK master trusts suffering DC skill shortage: PMI

first_imgA shortage of UK pension professionals with defined contribution (DC) experience – even within the regulator – is a concern for those running master trusts, according to a new survey.Industry body the Pensions Management Institute (PMI) questioned executives from 15 DC multi-employer master trusts in the UK, seeking to find their largest concerns.The survey found some 73% thought The Pensions Regulator (TPR) did not have the necessary DC skills to work with master trusts. The remaining 27% felt there was a shortage across the whole industry of people with good knowledge, experience and understanding to lead these large institutions.Master trusts have been subject to a TPR-enforced authorisation regime since 1 October. The new rules include key staff and expertise requirements. TPR was approached for comment by IPE. However, the report said since the survey had been conducted in August 2018, TPR had announced measures to address this concern, with participants now “anecdotally” expressing greater confidence in this area.Lesley Carline, president of the PMI, said: “Our report has shown that the growing master trust sector must overcome significant obstacles if it wants to offer good service delivery for members.”The survey found that, while many were happy with the way the sector was developing – and that authorisation by TPR was key to a well-functioning market – there were concerns with regulation.More than half (53%) agreed that rules around advice and guidance impeded both current and future delivery of services that would provide better outcomes to members, with a further 45% feeling the same about directions on communications generally.The UK’s evolving master trust modelDC consolidation could come at expense of members, experts warnRegulator sets out model for UK master trust authorisation30 providers exiting UK DC provision as new law enforced The PMI said it had received comments that included some “strong feelings” that members were not getting a good service due to regulations put in place to protect them.Some 73% of providers claimed current systems limited their ability to adopt new technology, while 53% said newer industry-wide collaborative technology such as pensions dashboards would help them access it.The figures also indicated that much of the industry, including some major players, were largely aligned and eager to work together to help tackle industry issues.Carline said: “A collaborative approach appears to be a ‘no brainer’, as the majority of the firms we surveyed would support further joint efforts to tackle the barriers to good service delivery and positive member outcomes.”The PMI has launched a Master Trust Working Party, which will meet over the coming year.Overall, the survey found the vast majority of providers (87%) felt that authorisation would accelerate consolidation and collaboration, something that is already being seen. TPR has estimated that 30 providers would likely not go through the authorisation process due to problems with complying with the new regime.The survey showed 60% of participants believed that there would be no more than 20 master trusts in five years’ time.last_img read more

Mandate roundup: BlackRock wins €1bn custody mandate

first_imgSwiss CERN picks actuaryCERN Pension Fund, the CHF4.3bn (€3.8bn) Swiss scheme for the European Organization for Nuclear Research, has reappointed Buck as actuary for a further four-year contract.Buck was first appointed by CERN in 2013 and will provide actuarial consulting services from its London office.Matthew Eyton-Jones, chief executive officer of the Geneva-based fund, said: ”The clarity of advice and practical solutions to complex problems has helped deliver valuable insight regarding the financing of the fund and also aid decision making to achieve better outcomes for all concerned.”Marcus Hurd, UK commercial director at Buck, said: ”The CERN pension fund is a major European pension fund and one with which we are proud to have such a strong ongoing relationship.” After an intensive selection process, Stichting Beroepspensioenfonds Loodsen (BPL), the Dutch scheme for marine pilots, has appointed BlackRock as fiduciary manager, advising on the fund’s €1bn in assets.According to a statement issued by the scheme, BlackRock will advise on how the fund can best organize its investment portfolio, taking into account future pension payments and current market conditions. In addition to strategic advice, BlackRock will also take care of the selection and monitoring of asset managers and the balance and risk management, including the management of interest rate and currency hedging.Robert de Jonge, chair of BPL, said: “Although we were delighted with the quality of several service providers, we are convinced that BlackRock is the best long-term partner for us. In addition, we directly benefit from their economies of scale and negotiating power. This is reflected in lower costs for the participants in our pension fund.”Robeco, the fund’s previous fiduciary, announced a few months ago that it would cease offering fiduciary services to pension funds and insurers.last_img read more

Gold Coast character home inspired by European getaway

first_img284 Piggabeen Rd, Currumbin Valley.HOUSE hunters searching for a character home need look no further.This Currumbin Valley acreage estate is unlike any other property on the market.A stone fireplace, leadlight windows, polished timber parquetry floors and a black and white claw foot bath are just some of the hilltop house’s standout features.Owners Kerry Ovens-Brown and Dave Brown built the house, which was inspired by a European getaway. 284 Piggabeen Rd, Currumbin Valley. 284 Piggabeen Rd, Currumbin Valley.They bought the land before going away then knew exactly what they were going to build by the time they got back.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa14 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days ago“There’s a lot of personal touches in there,” Mr Brown said.“All the rocks came off the property and a lot of the (mosaic) tiling was done by Kerry.“It’s not your regular house, that’s for sure.RELATED: Gold Coast’s slice of Paris “It was a bit of a labour of love.”The French chateau-inspired kitchen has vintage lights and wood cabinetry while the parents’ retreat is Mediterranean themed.The home also has a resort-style pool overlooking bushland as well as a one-bedroom cottage. RELATED: QLD pair tipped to win The Block 284 Piggabeen Rd, Currumbin Valley. 284 Piggabeen Rd, Currumbin Valley.“It’s really rustic,” Mr Brown said.“It’s a little bit of paradise up there, it’s really peaceful.”While they have been renting part of it out and using another part as an escape for the past few years, Mr Brown said they had lots of fond family memories there.“It’s one we lived in when all the kids were growing up so it’s a family home,” he said.The property will go to auction on November 22 at 6pm.last_img read more

Two properties sell as state gears for auction “Event”

first_imgThe penthouse on level six has 487sq m of living space.The in-house auctions, organised by the Ray White Runaway Bay Group at the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, brought 15 properties worth $15 million to market with the penthouse at 5601/2 Ephraim Island, Paradise Point, fetching $322,500 less than it’s original purchase price in 2003, according to CoreLogic property data.Today, a further 84 properties will go to auction at the Royal Pines Resort in “The Event” hosted by the Ray White Surfers Paradise Group that checks the pulse of the South East Queensland property market for 2019.Elsewhere in Queensland, a knockdown cottage on 810sq m in Noosaville sold under the hammer for $680,000 yesterday. SEE WHAT ELSE IS FOR SALE ON EPHRAIM ISLAND Ray White Runaway Bay Group Principal Ali Mian.“Buyers are there, yes they are being cautious but when you buy and sell in the same market, you sell for three to four per cent less, and you buy for three to four per cent less so it’s quite relative.”There were 26 bidders among the crowd of about 50 who attended Friday night’s auction.A separate property at 18 Hampton Court, Sovereign Islands sold prior to auction for $2.2 million. One auction bidder was all that was needed to secure this Noosaville block at 5 Ely Street for $680,000, but four conditional buyers were waiting in the wings, just in case.And a unit at Alexandra Headland sold unconditionally prior to auction for $315,000. This Ephraim Island penthouse sold under the hammer for $1,927,500 with the winning bidders downsizing from their house in Runaway Bay.A Gold Coast island penthouse and a Sunshine Coast knockdown cottage sold under the hammer this weekend as the property market readies for an auction bonanza today.Australia Day was a quiet day for auctions with five properties going under the hammer across Queensland on Saturday.But the Gold Coast is taking advantage of the long weekend crowds, with a Summer Auction Spectacular that took 15 properties to market on Friday night, and “The Event” today that will see 84 properties go under the hammer.A local couple are moving in to a penthouse on Ephraim Island after being the only bidders to buy a property under the hammer at Friday night’s Summer Auction Spectacular on the Gold Coast. The five-bedroom waterfront house at 18 Hampton Court, Sovereign Islands.Three bidders took the four-bedroom, four-bathroom penthouse at 5601/2 Ephraim Island, Paradise Point to auction with an opening bid of $1.7 million. Sitting in the front row of seats was local investor Susanna Hynes, who was keen to see what the market felt like this year.“My feeling from this evening’s auction is that a lot of buyers are very wary,” Ms Hynes said.“They think they can get better deals further down the track.“I think it’s very important to see what’s holding on the Gold Coast. This is a part of the world that everyone wants to come to and what I’ve seen happen in Sydney and Melbourne, it’s never happened so badly here.“I’m particularly keeping an eye on properties north of Main Beach. I think that’s where the value is.”Bidders were mostly owner occupiers and came from as far as Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.Conditional interest saw another property sell immediately after auction. Sunshine Coast agent Kevin Annetts said good numbers are coming through open houses, helping to sell properties like this at 29/274 Alexandra Pde, Alexandra Headland.“The market is steady,” Ray White Runaway Bay Group Principal Ali Mian said after Friday night’s Gold Coast auction.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa13 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days ago Ephraim Island has several properties on the market right now. Check out the link below.“I’ve done all the work the last 20 years, she can do the next 20 years,” said the new owner to his wife.“It’s a changing of the guard with our children all grown up. We’re downsizing.” This was the fourth sales campaign for the Ephraim Island penthouse and the highest offer the vendors had received over those campaigns.The auction was paused to negotiate for an hour while other auctions were called, and then the evening was interrupted to recommence the Ephraim Island bidding with auctioneer Nigel Long announcing the property was on the market with a leading bid of $1,927,500.No other bids were received and the crowd of 50 applauded the winning couple with paddle number 8. >>>FOLLOW THE COURIER-MAIL REAL ESTATE TEAM ON FACEBOOK<<<last_img read more

SA hotelier couple sell Gold Coast mansion in multimillion-dollar deal

first_imgThe Hurleys have used the property as a holiday home since buying it in 2003.Kollosche agent Duncan Longmore, who marketed the property with Michael Kollosche, declined to comment on the sale.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa11 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days agoThe waterfront residence hit the market in August with a $4.75 million price tag.Mr Kollosche declined to make comment on the owners at the time, but said the home was “beautiful”.“It’s a great home and in a fantastic location,” he said.A sweeping staircase under a domed ceiling, formal lounge with wet bar, infinity edge pool and private courtyard are among the four-bedroom, four bathroom home’s standout features. MORE NEWS: Unit block fetches more than $2m at heated auction MORE NEWS: Property taxes hit record levels The property at 133 Commodore Drive, Paradise Waters sold under the hammer at the weekend.A SOUTH Australian hotelier couple have offloaded their grand Gold Coast mansion in a $3.55 million deal.The European-inspired Paradise Waters property, which Peter and Jenny Hurley used as a holiday home, sold under the hammer at the weekend with five registered bidders vying for the keys.Despite changing hands for a hefty price, the couple actually sold it at a loss.Property records show they bought the Commodore Drive residence for $4 million in 2003 from freight tycoon Clive Thomas and his wife. There were five registered bidders vying for the property at auction. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:44Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:44 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p288p288p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenHow to bid at auction for your dream home? 01:45 The formal lounge room with wet bar is one of the property’s standout features. The property was first listed in August with a $4.75 million price tag.It is understood the Hurleys decided to sell it because they bought another property on the Gold Coast.Mr Hurley established the Hurley Hotel Group after leaving a teaching career to buy the Wudinna Hotel in 1975.More than 40 years later, he and his wife operate 10 hotels across South Australia and hold shares in two others.Other significant investments under the Hurley group include the Arkaba Village Shopping Centre and Surrey Downs Shopping Centre, both in South Australia.last_img read more

Cairns real estate: Low supply, high demand fuels property market surge

first_imgMat Foley from ReMax Cairns at a Aeroglen property that is for sale. PICTURE: STEWART McLEANCAIRNS has recorded the third highest jump in house prices in the country in the 12 months to January 2020, according to the latest Quarterly Regional Market Update from CoreLogic.The city recorded an annual growth of 4.2 per cent, beaten only by Illawarra in NSW and the Gold Coast. The positive news came as the report showed property values increased in 23 out of 50 separate house and unit markets over the past year.The report analysed property market performance across Australia’s largest non-capital city regions.There were also 4915 property sales in Cairns during the year which was 4 per cent lower than a year ago and 7.5 per cent lower than the five-year region average.RE/MAX Cairns agent Mat Foley said there was still high demand for properties “right across the board” in the city.“Most properties we are selling are in multiple offer situations, so excluding external forces (the high sale figures), the trend should continue,” he said.“Fundamentally a lack of supply of properties to the market and an increase in buyer numbers have driven the price rise.More from newsCairns home ticks popular internet search terms2 days agoTen auction results from ‘active’ weekend in Cairns2 days ago“The increase in buyer activity is due to two things, a downturn in rental vacancies which has forced many tenants to consider purchasing as well as government regulators relaxing the banks’ benchmark servicing rate, which has resulted in a spike in investor activity.“There is really strong demand for homes up to $500,000 with a lot of buyers looking for larger blocks within 20 minutes of the city centre.”The CoreLogic report found houses outperformed apartments overall with house prices rising in 15 regions compared to unit value gains in only eight regions. “As housing affordability becomes a resurgent issue in 2020, capital city residents may once again seek relatively affordable housing in nearby regions, or regional areas with high levels of amenity,” CoreLogic head of residential research Eliza Owen said.last_img read more