UK Pension Officials Delay Longevity Rules

July 21, 2008 ( - The U.K. Pensions Regulator is delaying the introduction of changes to the way longevity is treated in the retirement plan funding regime.

A news release put out by the U.K. regulator said changes will not apply until the beginning of the next defined benefit plan valuation cycle starting in September 2008. This will impact valuations and follow-up recovery plans that must be submitted to the regulator by underfunded plans due from September 2008 to December 2009.

In February, the regulator issued a call for public comment seeking views on how it expects pension plans to take account of future improvements on longevity. More than 80 responses were received as part of the call for public comment, which the regulator is considering carefully before reaching a conclusion on the best way forward.

“In order to ensure that we have the time to fully consider all of the responses, and to clarify that the original proposed date of introduction did not mean that schemes needed to restart valuation processes that had already begun, we have decided that any changes will be introduced from the start of the next valuation cycle. This will impact valuation dates from September 2008, with any necessary recovery plans due up to 15 months later in December 2009,” said David Norgrove, chairman of the regulator, in the announcement.

The regulator expects to publish a full response to the consultation and the final version of its new approach later in the summer.