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EC opposes NAPF attempt to win a VAT exemption for final salary schemes

The National Association of Pension Funds’ attempt to save defined-benefit pension schemes around £100m a year in VAT could be scuppered after the European Commission opposed the move.

The NAPF and Wheels Common Investment Fund Trustees, the Ford pension fund, launched the case in 2008 following an ECJ ruling which found that investment trusts should be exempt from VAT on investment management services.

At the hearing at the ECJ last week, the European Commission said it agreed with HMRC’s arguments that workplace schemes are not exempt as they are restricted to employees and the benefits are guaranteed. HMRC and the EC also argued contributions are not investments but payments in exchange for future rights to specific retirement payments and contributions cannot be withdrawn.

Grant Thornton UK director of indirect taxes Stuart Brodie says: “We did not know up until the hearing last week that the European Commission was against it. Now we know this is the case it looks less hopeful than a few years ago when the case was launched.”

An opinion statement on the case is expected in the next few months followed by a final ruling.

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FSCS chief calls for ‘fresh look’ at pre-funding

Financial Services Compensation Scheme chief executive Mark Neale says the idea of pre-funding the compensation scheme deserves a “fresh look” rather than continuing with the current pay-as-you-go levy system. Neale (pictured) has started a new industry blog called Perspectives which appears on the FSCS website. In the first edition, published this morning, Neale acknowledged the […]

Skandia to launch new income multi-manager range

Skandia is launching a range of four income multi-manager funds towards the end of the month. They will be branded Generation funds and run by fund manager John Ventre. The funds are called Generation 3:4, Generation 3:6, Generation 4:4 and Generation 4:6. The first figure represents the capital growth aim, which is CPI plus a […]

UK secures Fatca exemptions for pensions and Isas

The Government has signed an agreement with the US which will exempt UK pension schemes and Isas from onerous reporting requirements under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. Fatca aims to tackle tax evasion by US taxpayers through the use of foreign accounts. The rules require foreign financial institutions to report certain information about financial […]

Amps urges Treasury to ease Sipp and Ssas rules

The Association of Member-directed Pension Schemes has written to new Treasury financial secretary Greg Clark calling for a relaxation of Sipp and Ssas rules. Amps chairman Andrew Roberts has set out four proposals which he says could provide extra funding to small and medium-sized businesses. First, the trade body wants the Government to relax the […]

Directors, limited liability partners and auto-enrolment

By Jim Grant, Senior Product Insight & Technical Support Analyst 6 April 2016 brought in changes to employer duties for directors and partners in limited liability partnerships. Here we explain exactly what’s changed. Before 6 April 2016… Directors of limited liability companies where there were no other directors or employees were exempt from the employer […]

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