News relating to the SCPF or pensions in general.
2023 Member Nominated Director results
Thank you to everyone who was interested and willing to be part of running the Fund. We are pleased with the level of interest and impressed by the calibre of the applicants.
The selection panel reviewed all the applications, and nine candidates were interviewed. Following the interviews, the panel selected Alison McNeil and Ian Chisholm as the new MNDs from 1st January 2024 for four-year terms.
Alison is a Pensioner member of the SCPF and worked for Shell in various legal roles for 23 years during which time she worked in the UK and overseas in the Hague and Dubai. Alison's last role at Shell was as Head of the Business Integrity Department. Alison is currently a Trustee Director for The Nuclear Trust and Nuclear Liabilities Fund Ltd.
Ian is a Deferred member of the SCPF and worked for Shell for over 26 years in a variety of finance roles including Vice President Financial Markets and General Manager of the Trustee Services Unit. Ian currently works for Grosvenor as Group Treasurer and is a non-executive Director at Sanctuary Housing Association.
Please join us in congratulating Alison and Ian on their appointments.
The 2023 SCPF Source
.We are pleased to announce that the 2023 edition of the Shell Contributory Pension Fund (SCPF) Newsletter the Source is now available for you to view. In this edition, we have packed in a wealth of information and updates, here's a preview of what you can expect:
- Scheme Funding Update: An update on the financial health of the SCPF.
- 2023 Climate Change Report: Learn more about the SCPF’s journey to net zero.
- Join the Member Experience Panel: We are excited to introduce a new opportunity for our members to get involved with the SCPF. Join our Member Experience Panel and have a say in shaping future communications like the Source.
- Submit Your Questions for the 2023 Chair’s Video: Do you have a burning question you'd like Tim Morrison to address? Please submit a question for the upcoming 2023 Chair’s Video.
Your feedback and engagement are important, so please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions, suggestions, or comments. You can contact us at SCPFtrustee@shell.com
Pension buy-ins and buy-outs
We have received questions from a small number of members about buy-ins and buy-outs of pension schemes with insurance companies.
Whilst neither the Trustee nor the Company has any plans for an SCPF buy-in or buy-out, because of the interest in the topic we thought it would be helpful to explain a little more about them.
A pension buy-in is where the scheme buys a policy with an insurer which provides income to the pension scheme. This income is the same as the benefit payments being made to some or all members of the scheme. The insurance policy is an asset held by the scheme that is designed to mitigate some of the risks associated with paying pension scheme benefits, particularly investment and longevity risk. It is simply an asset management decision taken by the trustees of the pension scheme. The pension scheme remains fully responsible for making all benefit payments. If the assets of the scheme are insufficient to meet benefit payments, the balance of the cost falls to the sponsoring employer.
A full pension buy-out is almost always associated with the complete closure and winding up of a pension scheme. The pension scheme buys annuity policies for each member which reflect each member’s pension entitlement from the scheme. The insurance company then pays the benefits directly to members, with pension scheme members becoming policyholders of the insurance company. Once all benefits have been secured with an insurance company in full, the pension scheme can be closed and wound up. If there is a surplus in the scheme after the payment to the insurance company and all other expenses, what happens to that surplus is determined by the rules of the scheme. In the case of the SCPF, any surplus is paid to the company.
Insurance companies follow low-risk investment strategies for both buy-in and buy-out policies. Insurers that offer pension insurance are regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and operate with stringent financial safeguards in place. They are subject to strict PRA standards which require them to maintain significant capital reserves to support the benefits they take on so that they have the financial capacity to meet their obligations to policyholders, even in adverse market conditions.
Have you ever thought about becoming a Member Nominated Trustee Director?
The Shell Pension Trust has vacancies for two Member Nominated Trustee Directors to join the Trustee Board for the Shell Contributory Pension Fund (SCPF) from 1 January 2024.
As a member of the Trustee Board, you would be part of a diverse team working together to:
- ensure that the SCPF is governed in accordance with its Trust Deed and Regulations and legislation,
- make decisions on the funding strategy for the SCPF,
- monitor the investments and decide the investment strategy and policy,
- oversee and appoint all advisers to the SCPF; and
- set the member experience objectives.
You don’t need to be a pensions expert or have a background in finance, investment or employment benefits, or any other specialist knowledge. The Trustee Board is looking for enthusiastic members who have a basic understanding of pensions, are willing and able to learn more and, most importantly, are dedicated to helping ensure the success of the SCPF.
How do I apply?
Look out for the invitation to apply which will be sent to all members in September 2023.
The Trustee will choose the members for appointment as Member Nominated Trustee Directors via the selection process that was introduced in 2021. A Selection Panel (made up of an existing Member Nominated Trustee Director who is not standing for selection, the Trustee Board Chair and a Trustee Services Unit representative) will hold interviews to decide which nominees will join the Board. The Member Nomination process was updated in 2021 changing from election to selection and to a single constituency. This change was for several reasons including the growing complexity of the work involved as regulatory requirements increase, to ensure a mix of skills and diversity on the Board and the gradual decline in the number of members participating in elections (at the last election in 2019 only 17% of members voted).
Who can apply?
The Trustee Board welcomes applications from all members of the SCPF, subject to certain eligibility requirements, and is committed to diversity and equity. A diverse mix of people from different backgrounds can bring a variety of skills, perspectives, ways of thinking and experiences to the Trustee Board, helping the SCPF to operate effectively for all its members and beneficiaries. Appointing Member Nominated Trustee Directors through a selection process allows the Selection Panel to choose the most suitable candidates to complement the Board as a whole. This approach is supported by The Pensions Regulator in their guidance to governing bodies on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
Further information about the selection process will be made available on this website when we send the Member Nominated Trustee Director invitation to members in September; in the meantime, you can find out more about the role of the Trustee Board on the “Role of the Trustee Board” page.
Pension Allowance Changes from 6 April 2023
On 16 March 2023, the Chancellor announced some important changes to the pension tax rules which govern the amount of pension you can build up before incurring extra tax charges. The following is a summary of the key changes based on our understanding of the current law.
These are complicated tax rules. The Trustee cannot provide financial advice and neither can any Shell group company or their employees. If you have any questions about these changes, or what they might mean for you, you should speak to a financial adviser.
Please also note that these rules are subject to change – indeed, the Labour party has already indicated that they may seek to reverse some of the changes announced by the Chancellor in March 2023.
From 6 April 2023, the Annual Allowance (AA), which is the maximum amount of pension you can build up in a registered pension scheme without triggering an extra tax charge, was increased from £40,000 to £60,000.
Since the start of the 2016/17 tax year, some high earners have had a reduced AA known as the Tapered AA. With effect from 6 April 2023, the minimum Tapered AA increased to £10,000 (previously £4,000) and the “Adjusted Income”, which is the level of earnings from which the taper applies, also increased to £260,000 (previously £240,000).
The Government has announced that the Lifetime Allowance (LTA), which is the maximum amount of pension you can build up in a registered pension scheme over the course of your lifetime without incurring an extra tax charge, is to be abolished entirely with effect from 6 April 2024.
Furthermore, since 6 April 2023, although the LTA still exists, any benefits “crystallised” in excess of the LTA (which is currently set at £1,073,100) will not incur an LTA charge. Instead, the excess over LTA will be taxable at the individual’s marginal rate of income tax.
Your benefits from the Fund are subject at all times to the Trust Deed and Regulations (TDR) in force from time to time and overriding law. In the event of any inconsistency between this summary and the TDR and law, the TDR and law will prevail.