News in brief – 15 February

Ensign plans to improve pensions engagement by introducing drawdown and retirement advice services, and has chosen Punter Southall Aspire to provide retirement services for its master trusts members.

Its research found that only 42 per cent of respondents know how much they are paying into their pension, and are launching the Ensign Drawdown Account, which “comes with a choice of at-retirement guidance or regulated advice from Punter Southall Aspire’s Retirement Services team”. Alongside this, Punter Southall Aspire will provide at retirement guidance and regulated advice for Ensign’s master trust members.

XPS Pensions Group has been appointed as an investment adviser to the Harrods Group Pension Plan.

It was appointed by the trustee of the pension plans to provide investment advice, following a competitive tender process. Harrods Pension Plan chair of trustee, David Fripp commented: “We selected XPS Pensions Group to provide investment advice to the plan because we felt they would be a great fit for us.”

LV= has announced that it has added Brooks MacDonald and LGT Vestra to its retirement panel.

These appointments brought the list of discretionary fund managers on the panel to eight. LV= hopes that they can help its customers to “live confident” by providing investment expertise to supplement customer’s pensions and making the platform easier to navigate for financial advisers.

Phoenix has provided £50m of funding to A2Dominion Housing Group.

The funding will be used to refinance A2Dominion’s maturing secured debt and “progress with new opportunities” which will provide more social and affordable housing. The transaction will provide regular cash flows to match Phoenix’s longer-dated pension liabilities.

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