PPF seeks to simplify levy extension process

The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) has said that it is simplifying the levy delay application process during the Society of Pension Professionals’ (SPP) Managing Pension Scheme Risk in the Current Climate talk.

PPF chief risk officer, Stephen Wilcox, commented that the organisation was working on making the process “as simple and quick as possible” for schemes that had been impacted by the effects of the Covid-19 crisis.

“We’ve put this together quite quickly, but we think it is an important measure for schemes,” said Wilcox.

Earlier in the summer, the PPF gave levy payers struggling with the effects of the pandemic a 90 day interest-free extension in which to pay their 2020/21 bill, offering them the opportunity to fill in a ‘Covid-19 notification form’ after receiving their invoice.

Wilcox also confirmed that the organisation is looking to move away from physical invoices to electronic invoices, which he noted would reduce their carbon footprint and be able to reach recipients more quickly due to current restrictions.

He pointed out that recipients needed to provide their consent for paper invoices to be withdrawn in each case.

When it came to what the future holds, Wilcox noted that the PPF’s projections pointed to an increase in activity.

Wilcox commented: “We do expect claims to increase in the future. We do see dark clouds on the horizon, but dark clouds don’t always bring rain and they don’t always bring the amount of rain you would expect. The important thing for us at the moment is to keep our eyes open and our ears very close to the ground, and we’re doing that very closely in combination with TPR.”

He added that PPF analysis had given the organisation confidence that “even in reasonably adverse scenarios, we do have the financial resilience that we need”, adding that PPF was keeping its eye on “trigger dates” such as the conclusion of furlough and business rate dates.

Wilcox noted that the organisation’s funding position had remained “robust” despite the impact of market volatility, commenting that the PPF had done “extremely well” to continue to pay members and provide its usual range of services through lockdown.

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