Josephine Cumbo

Josephine Cumbo

FT Pensions Correspondent. Own views.

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I asked the #USS  to explain the £1.5m year-on-year spike in legal fees as disclosed in its latest annual report. Statement follows:

#USS  : "Accordingly, we incur legal expenses for a wide range of matters which in 2019/20 included governance issues and work related to the critically important valuation of the Scheme’s DB fund. " USS said the YoY increase amounted to less than 1% of total scheme running costs.

On how much of the 2019/2020 £3.9m legal bill was spent on the Hutton investigation, #USS  said "we’ve no further comment".

Two companies ordered to pay £10.7m to investors sold risky #pension  investments via @financialtimes 

In Australia, cosmetic surgery firms are instructing potential clients on how to take advantage of early #Covid-19  access to their superannuation pots, to fund boob jobs and tummy tucks

NEW: More than a third of DB pension schemes with valuation dates in 2017 and 2018 were in surplus according to new data from TPR. By the end of Jan 2020, TPR had received more than 1730 "Tranche 13" valuations with 37% of these schemes in surplus on a technical provisions basis

Criminal gangs are targetting Aussie Covid early superannuation access scheme. #pension 

Mr Whippy trending after being pulled into a political row over border policy. #2020  continues to deliver the most unexpected of surprises.

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The UK #pensions  sector has undertaken a temperature check on major changes to a funding code, governing DB schemes, proposed by the Regulator. The result was a cool response to proposals for a new "twin track" approach to scheme valuations. More to follow:

A key part of the new code is the requirement of schemes to have a long-term objective covering funding & investment strategy & to dial down sponsor dependency. The draft code proposes a "twin track" approach to demonstrating funding compliance: "Fast Track" & "Bespoke".


Thousands of Maltese citizens hold candles and sing the national anthem at the conclusion of an emotional and angry rally in Valletta for murdered journalist #DaphneCaruanaGalizia 

FYI - I was asking #UUK  all week for updates on its position over #USS  and in my view responding with an Opinion piece in a newspaper is inadequate, and reflects an organisation that is not comfortable with scrutiny.

BREAKING: The giant USS pension fund has reported itself to the regulator after plunging stock markets triggered a breach a key funding measure. Trustees will now consider whether contributions from employers and hundreds of thousands of members need to increase. More follows

Crikey! BBC now saying if exit poll as wrong in rest of vote as it was in first two seats called then Cons could have 80 seat majority.

UNIVERSITY STRIKE UPDATE: The union leading strike action has called for Sir David Eastwood, chair of the #USS  Trustee Board, to stand down with immediate effect.

NHS THREAD This week I spoke to more than 40 NHS consultants to get a deeper understanding of how the controversial annual allowance taper was impacting doctors on the front line, right across the U.K. The stories shared with me were deeply alarming. Read on:

On the eve of the critical Brexit vote, the Government is accused of “sneaking out” changes to pensioner benefits that could cost mixed aged older couples more than £7000 a year. The DWP announcement was published around 7:20 tonight. Details to follow 1/

University #pension  scheme accused of “misrepresenting” financial health of £60bn retirement fund. via @FT 

New: #UUK  has today confirmed it will jointly establish the independent expert panel to review the #USS  pension valuation, and jointly develop the membership and terms of reference, with #UCU . 1/

Gonville & Caius College Cambridge puts head well above the parapet with this strongly worded statement on #UUK 's troubled Sept#USS  risk survey. "We deplore the use by UUK of views that are clearly marked as the unauthorised view of the institution"