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UK roundup: Docklands Light Railway Pension Scheme, TPR, Serco, ABI, SGSS

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The Docklands Light Railway Pension Scheme has reached an agreement with its sponsor employer over its 2009 actuarial valuation after involvement from the regulator.

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) said the trustees and sponsor, Serco, were unable to reach an agreement by 1 April 2009.

Serco ran the Docklands Light Railway, an East London train line, until 2014.

TPR oversaw a funding settlement for the now £36.1m (€49m) deficit, which will be cleared by January 2018, with £20m coming from Serco by January next year.

Serco will put £33m into the scheme and £4m from its subsidiary Dockland Light Railway Ltd.

In light of the missed 2009 deadline, TPR said it would consider it necessary to exercise its funding powers against Serco but then suspend this once negotiations between scheme and sponsor recommenced.

Lesley Titcomb, TPR chief executive, said the deal, overseen by TPR, showed that it would support schemes with non-compliance and did not take kindly to missed actuarial deadline submissions.

In other news, figures from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) show that defined contribution (DC) savers have withdrawn £27m a day in the first three months since they were granted new freedoms.

From April, DC savers over the age of 55 have been freed of the obligation to purchase annuities.

As of the end of June, they have taken out £2.5bn from DC schemes.

More than half, £1.3bn, was paid out in cash.

However, £1.1bn was shifted into income drawdown products, a market expected to grow after the freedoms were introduced, and one many DC schemes are considering offering in-house.

Approximately £990m was invested in annuities, with the average purchase around £55,600.

The ABI’s director for long-term savings policy, Yvonne Braun, said the figures showed how well providers were adapting to the reforms.

Lastly, Société Générale Securities Services (SGSS) has received UK regulatory approval to offer trustee and depositary services for UCITS and alternative investment funds.

The company will now offer full custody, depositary and fund administration services for UK pension funds.

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