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Budget reforms, legislations and public service pension schemes

Welcome to the latest edition of Pensions News by Advisory Excellence, which aims to help employers and trustees keep up to date with all the latest developments in pensions legislation, guidance and case law. This edition of Pensions News summarises the key developments from September 2014.

Please find a full list of the topics discussed below:

  • Budget reforms: the announcement that the 55 per cent death benefits tax charge on pension funds held in a drawdown product at death or uncrystallised after age 75 will be abolished in April 2015.
  • The Pensions Regulator: information on new questions in the DB scheme return; and the publication of the staff determinations procedure that applies to cases where a decision is made by the executive arm of the regulator.
  • DWP: an announcement about the removal of the NEST restrictions, which also gives some indication on the possible timescale for the introduction of the system for automatic transfers.
  • Legislation: the coming into force of certain provisions of the Pensions Act 2014; the progress of the Pension Schemes Bill through Parliament and the publication of notices of amendments; and amendments to the draft updated IORP Directive.
  • HMRC: the coming into force of a statutory requirement for scheme administrators to be fit and proper for the role and the publication of HMRC guidance about this requirement; and the latest Pension Schemes Services newsletter.
  • Public service pension schemes: a policy note about the NHS pension scheme and Fair Deal; and an update to the directions on valuations and the employer cost cap.
  • Other news: the annual review of the Pensions Advisory Service; and the Pension Protection Fund’s latest Technical News publication.
CLAYTON UTZ

Advisory Excellence Award for Darling Harbour Live precinct project

The circa $1 billion Darling Harbour Live precinct project, on which Clayton Utz is the primary legal adviser, has won the Advisory Excellence Award at the 2014 National Infrastructure Awards convened by Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (IPA).

With construction expected to be completed in 2016, the Darling Harbour Live precinct project will provide Sydney with world-class facilities for a diverse range of convention, exhibition and entertainment events. Clayton Utz was appointed in August 2011 as primary legal advisers to Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority (SFHA) and then to Infrastructure NSW (INSW), on the project.

The award judging panel acknowledged the major and complementary outcomes the projects advisers had secured for the State and for the people of NSW, through smart structuring and the use of interactive and competitive bidding. Other advisers on the project are KPMG (Financial Adviser to the State), Evans & Peck (Transaction Adviser to the State), Capella Capital (Financial Adviser to Darling Harbour Live) and Herbert Smith Freehills (Legal Adviser to Darling Harbour Live).

This is the latest accolade for the Darling Harbour Live precinct project, which was also named Asia-Pacific PPP Deal of the Year at the 2013 Project Finance International (PFI) Awards.

IPA’s National Infrastructure Awards celebrate and acknowledge the innovation and excellence of Australia’s public and private sectors in the delivery of infrastructure.

Bendigo Hospital Project, on which Clayton Utz is legal adviser to the Department of Health (Victoria), was also a finalist for the Advisory Excellence Award.