IIPM/Professional Diploma in Pensions. Retirement Provision Module. 8th January Examination Paper. Examiner Solutions

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1 IIPM/Professional Diploma in Pensions Retirement Provision Module 8th January 2011 Examination Paper Examiner Solutions Examiner s Solutions - Page 1 of 14

2 30 MARKS PER QUESTION. TOTAL MARKS = 120 1(a) Proposed changes in Social Welfare Pension Any three from : requirement from April 2012 to have at least 520 paid weekly PRSI contributions (i.e. 10 years) to qualify for the State Pension (Contributory). Currently the required minimum number is 260 (i.e. 5 years). Entitlement to the State Pension (Contributory) will, for new retirees from 2020 onwards, be dictated by the total number of PRSI contributions paid over claimant s lifetime ; an individual will get 1/30 th of the pension for each year of contributions paid, up to a maximum of 30/30ths. The abolition of the State Pension (Transition) for new retirees from 2014 onwards. In effect this will abolish the current option for employees to get a State Pension at age 65, so that from 2014 onwards 66 will be the earliest age at which a State Pension can be claimed. An increase in the State Pension age (for both Contributory and non Contributory pensions), for new retirees varying by year of birth as follows: o : 66 o : 67 o : 68 Introduction of an option to delay drawing on a State Pension, in return for an actuarially enhanced pension payable at a later date. 3 marks (b) I. Who will be enrolled in the scheme? Employees aged 22 or over will be automatically enrolled unless they are a member of their employer s occupational pension scheme which provides higher contribution levels or is a DB scheme. Examiner s Solutions - Page 2 of 14

3 II. Contributions to the Auto Scheme Contributions to the new scheme will be made within a band of earnings as follows: o Employee : 4% o Employer : 2% o State (through tax credit payment) : 2% Contributions will be collected through the PRSI system, and will qualify for PRSI and Health Levy relief. III. Investment Options The scheme will offer a range of private managed investment funds (which will be required to have lifestyling built in) reflecting different levels of risk, accompanied by suitable, easily understood information about the level of that risk and the benefits expected. IV V The range of funds will include very low risk options to provide contributors with a high level of security on their savings. The Government will not provide any guarantees on investment returns. Members will have the option of choosing between these approved funds or providers, or else they will be enrolled in one of the low risk default options Opting out of the scheme Employees can opt out of the scheme after 3 months and can opt back in again whenever they want to, but they will be automatically re-enrolled every two years; Access to funds Once a person remains in the scheme for six months, their contributions will be held in a pension account and no withdrawals will be allowed thereafter until retirement. Examiner s Solutions - Page 3 of 14

4 (c) (d) Three factors which will drive up the cost of public pensions 6 marks (1 for list and 1 for explain) I. Increase in the number of older people in the population II. Why : more people will be claiming Social Welfare and public service pensions. Increasing life expectancy Why : Social Welfare and public service pensions will have to be paid for longer, as retires live longer. III. Decrease in ratio of workers to those over age 65. Why : less workers to pay for more public pensions, through income tax and PRSI contributions. Four disadvantages of the pay as you go system Any four from : lack of security for employees(future pensioners) and current pensioners, who must depend on their employer/exchequer staying in business and being able to continue paying out promised benefits, when they retire. future economic conditions could deteriorate with a consequent negative impact on employer/exchequer finances and hence on their ability to pay future pensions. Lack of transparency and linkage between the level of benefits promised now and the cost of paying those benefits in the future. rapidly escalating outgoings for the provider (e.g. employer or Exchequer), if the number of pensioners escalates and/or pensioners live longer than expected and/or the benefit rate is increased. lack of opportunity to earn a real investment return to reduce the cost of future pension benefits promised. As no funds are being accumulated for the future, there is no opportunity to invest such funds and earn an investment return in excess of the rate of increase in pension liabilities which could subsidise the costs of paying future promised benefits. 8 marks Examiner s Solutions - Page 4 of 14

5 2(a) I. Calculation of % of her then earnings which the projected fund after 5 years will represent Calculation of projected fund, at 3% per annum, using table of factors at the back of the exam paper: Year 1 contribution : 10 x 1,159 = 11,590 Year 2 contribution : 10 x 1,126 = 11,260 Year 3 contribution : 10 x 1,093 = 10,930 Year 4 contribution : 10 x 1,061 = 10,610 Year 5 contribution : 10 x 1,030 = 10,300 Total = 54,690 Students using a calculator with a y^ x button may give an answer of 54,684. Either answer is acceptable Calculation of projected earnings : 40 x 1,276 = 51,040 Students using a scientific calculator may give an answer of 51,051. Either answer is acceptable. Calculation of % : 54,690/ 51,040 = 107.2% Students using a scientific calculator may come up with an answer of 54,684/ 51,051 = 107.1%, Either answer is acceptable. 6 marks II. Present value of projected fund 54,690 x 697/ 1,000 = 38,119 Students using a calculator may come up with 54,684/(1.075)^5 = 38,091. Either answer is acceptable. Examiner s Solutions - Page 5 of 14

6 (b) I Four circumstances in which trustees must provide SORP At least once in each scheme year commencing on or after 1st July Within 2 months of joining service. Within 2 months of receipt of a transfer value in the scheme in respect of the member. Within 4 weeks of a request by the member. 4 marks II. How SORP investment return is determined The rate of investment return, before deduction of all anticipated charges related to the contract, is determined having regard to the asset mix of the fund to which the DC member s fund is linked, on the following basis: III. the gross investment return for equities and property will be 7% per annum; the gross investment return for fixed interest securities will be 4.5% per annum; the gross investment return for cash will be 3% per annum; and the gross investment return for all other asset classes will be 3% per annum, other than for asset classes for which the Society of Actuaries Guidance has specified that a different gross investment return is to be used, in which cases the relevant gross investment returns so specified will be used. The rate of investment return so determined cannot exceed an upper limit of 6% per annum. 10 marks How present value of SORP projected benefits illustrated to the member Where retirement benefits are illustrated as a percentage or multiple of final salary, or of final pensionable salary, such benefits must assume the current salary increases at a compound rate of 3% per annum. Where benefits in monetary form are expressed in terms of current value, such benefits must be discounted at a rate of 3% per annum. Examiner s Solutions - Page 6 of 14

7 (c) I. Three factors which will determine the adequacy of Jack s retirement benefits Any three from: II. Jack s age now, as this will determine how long contributions will be paid and invested for. Jack s retirement age, as this will determine how long contributions will be paid and invested for. The investment return earned by the investment of the contributions Annuity rates at retirement, which will determine how much pension is secured for a given level of fund Jack s earnings between now and retirement: his and his employer contributions are linked to his earnings. Jack s earnings at retirement: the higher they are, the lower the level of adequacy for a given level of retirement fund. Jack s earnings at retirement: the higher they are lower the level of replacement provided by the Social Welfare pension. 3 marks Three possible sources of financial support in retirement Any three from : Non pension personal savings and investments. Equity accumulated in their own home. It may be possible for some individuals to release equity from their home in retirement, either by selling and downsizing to a smaller home or through the use of various equity release investment schemes. Earnings from ongoing part time or full time employment. Anticipated inheritances from family members, e.g. from parents. Financial help and support from other family members. 3 marks Examiner s Solutions - Page 7 of 14

8 3(a) I. General trust law duties in trustees Any five from: The trustees must know the terms of the trust and act in accordance with it. Ensure that the trust property and all funds properly due to the trust are vested in the trustees. Act in good faith and in the best interests of the trust beneficiaries, and act fairly as between different beneficiaries. Invest the trust assets prudently and diligently in the best interests of and for the benefit of the trust beneficiaries generally, as an honest and prudent man would. Ensure that proper records and accounts are maintained. Seek professional advice where required to carry out trustee duties. Maintain confidentiality in relation to all information acquired in relation to acting as a trustee. Be aware of possible conflicts of interest as between the trustee s own personal interests and their duty as a trustee. Ensure that trustees duties are not delegated to others, unless this is permitted by the trust deed. Ensure that the trustees do not profit from the trust unless the trust deed allows this (e.g. a professional trustee may be permitted to be remunerated by fees from the trust fund). Ensure that beneficiaries of the trust are paid the benefits due to them under the terms of the trust deed. 5 marks Examiner s Solutions - Page 8 of 14

9 (a) II. Specific Pensions Act obligations on OPS trustees Any five from : to ensure that the contributions payable by the employer and the members of the scheme, where appropriate, are received and that deducted employee and contractual employer contributions are invested within 10 days of the latest date on which those sums should have been remitted or paid by the employer under the Pensions Act. to provide for the proper investment of the resources of the scheme in accordance with regulations and in accordance with the rules of the scheme. where appropriate, to make arrangements for the payment of the benefits as provided for under the rules of the scheme as they become due, whether in the State or in any other EU Member State, net of any taxes and transaction charges which may be applicable. to undertake trustee training in accordance with the Pensions Act. to ensure that proper membership and financial records are kept. if the scheme is wound up, to apply the resources of the scheme in discharging its liabilities without undue delay in accordance with the rules of the scheme and, where applicable, the Pensions Act. to ensure that at all times there is a registered administrator appointed. 5 marks Examiner s Solutions - Page 9 of 14

10 (b) Three specific functions carried out by the scheme Registered Administrator Preparation of scheme Annual Report, where required. The scheme annual report must be provided to the trustees not later than one month prior to the date by which the trustees are required to make the annual report available. Preparation of member s annual statements, including the Statement of Reasonable Projection (SORP) to be provided to all members of defined contribution schemes in respect of scheme years commencing on or after 1 st July The annual statements must be provided to the trustees not later than one month prior to the date by which the trustees are required to make such statements available. Keeping accurate records to enable the scheme annual report and annual benefit statements to be prepared. 6 marks (3 x ) (c) I. Three types of occupational pension schemes for which trustees NOT required to prepare a scheme Annual Report II. One member arrangements Death benefit only schemes Small schemes, i.e. a scheme with < 100 current and deferred members with an entitlement to a retirement benefit, excluding pensioners. Date scheme Annual Report must be available 3 marks No later than 9 months after the end of the scheme year 1 mark Examiner s Solutions - Page 10 of 14

11 III. IV. Items which must be contained in Scheme Annual Report Any five from: a copy of the audited accounts in respect of the scheme year, a copy of the auditor's report on the accounts, and where the auditor's report is qualified the trustees should state whether the matter has been resolved, for defined benefit schemes, a copy of the latest actuarial funding certificate prepared. for defined benefit schemes, details of the measures proposed in any funding proposal prepared which relates to the scheme year in respect of which the annual report is being prepared, for defined contribution schemes, a copy of the valuation report in relation to that scheme year, and other information specified in the Disclosure Regulations An investment report. 5 marks Persons who can prepare Alternative Annual Report by a person who could be appointed as an auditor of the scheme. where all of the benefits are secured under one or more policies with the one Life Assurance Company, by a person designated by that company. where all of the benefits are secured under policies with more than one Life Assurance Company, by a person designated by one of those companies. Examiner s Solutions - Page 11 of 14

12 (d) Three circumstances in which trustees of OPS NOT required to comply with principle of equal pension treatment on grounds of gender any difference on gender grounds in relation to the contribution levels to a DC scheme, for the purpose of removing or limiting differences between men and women in the amount or value of benefits provided by the scheme. any difference in contribution levels, by sex, to a DB pension scheme necessary to meet the cost of benefits promised. any difference in the amount of benefits provided under a DC scheme, to the extent that such differences are justifiable on actuarial grounds. 3 marks Examiner s Solutions - Page 12 of 14

13 4(a) I. How assets and liabilities of a DB scheme are determined for purposes on the Projected Unit Credit system III. The scheme s accrued liabilities would be calculated as the present value of: Pensions already in payment, which are paid from the scheme, plus Deferred benefits of members who have left service but not yet taken their benefits, plus Benefits earned by active (i.e. in service) members in respect of service already completed, with allowance for anticipated future increases in salaries up to retirement age. Assets would normally be valued at market value. II. Objective of the Projected Unit Credit system 7 marks to maintain the scheme s assets at such a level that, with future investment income but without any future contributions, the scheme will be able to pay all accrued benefits until the last scheme beneficiary dies. How funding rate is determined on the Projected Unit Credit system The recommended contribution to the scheme is: the current service cost, i.e. present value of benefits to be accrued over the next year with allowance for future salary increases, PLUS an adjustment to correct (over an agreed period of time) any imbalance between the scheme s accumulated assets and the accrued liabilities. Expressed as a % of the current pensionable salary payroll. 6 marks Examiner s Solutions - Page 13 of 14

14 (b) I. Rationale for adopting the passive investment management style investment markets are efficient, i.e. assets are fairly priced and everything that needs to be known about a particular asset is known to all players in the market. Therefore the search for added value over market returns is futile. In other words, you re never going to beat the market, at least not on a consistent basis. Investors, therefore, should attempt only to replicate market returns. 5 marks II. Objective of Consensus approach to investment management to match the risk/return characteristics of similar competing collective funds, through replicating the asset & geographical allocations of such funds. (c) (d) Two different ways in which incremental risk permitted to an active investment manager can be defined Control Ranges Which set maximum and minimum parameters for exposure to the different asset types e.g. equity exposure might be permitted to range from 50% to 70% of total assets. Tracking Error Tracking error quantifies the maximum amount the portfolio return should differ or vary (either + or minus) from the specified benchmark return. What is a Common Contractual Fund? 4 marks An unincorporated body established by a management company under which investors participate in an investment fund as co-owners (tenants in common). Advantage for pension investors It has tax transparency. Hence pension investors obtain a tax free investment return. 4 marks Examiner s Solutions - Page 14 of 14

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