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Testing the transparency of your pension scheme investments - Ian Burns, DB Investment Director, JLT
Update from The Pensions Regulator (TPR) - Fiona Frobisher, Head of Policy, The Pensions Regulator
• The PPF approach to restructuring and insolvency - Malcolm Weir, Director of Restructuring and Insolvency, Pension Protection Fund
• Has income investing had its day in the sun? - Steven Andrew, Fund Manager, M&G
• Longevity - the new norm - Matthew Fletcher, Senior Consultant, Aon

08:30 08:55: Registration and refreshments

08:55 – 09:00: Chairman’s welcome
Roger Cobley, Chairman, Stamford Associates

09:00 – 9:25: KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Update from The Pensions Regulator (TPR)
Fiona Frobisher, Head of Policy, The Pensions Regulator

Synopsis: Fiona Frobisher is Head of Policy at the Pensions Regulator and will set out TPR’s key priorities and focus for the coming months. As the pensions environment continues to throw up challenges for many in the industry, Fiona will set out clearly what the regulator’s expectations are, with a particular attention on governance. She will address TPR’s ‘Clearer, Quicker, Tougher’ approach and outline what that means in practice for those running pension schemes.

09:25 – 9:50: Longevity – the new norm
Matthew Fletcher, Senior Consultant, Aon

Synopsis: Aon longevity specialist Matt Fletcher will provide insights into the dramatic fall in national mortality improvements over the past five years and the possible causes; the new market and actuarial consensus on longevity improvement trends; the implications for pension scheme longevity assumptions; and the shifts in bulk annuity and longevity swap pricing compared with 2016 and their implications.

9:50 – 10:15: Delivering Pension Benefits in an Age of Eroded Trust and Macroeconomic Uncertainty 
Paul Abberley, CEO, Charles Stanley

Synopsis: Mutual trust amongst the various actors in the pension industry has been steadily eroded in recent years, leading to reduced conviction in appropriate courses of action and frequent recourse to regulatory and contractual prescription, all of which can work against the interests of pension beneficiaries. Is it realistic to expect this trust to be rebuilt any time soon?

10:15 – 10:40: Testing the transparency of your pension scheme investments
Ian Burns, DB Investment Director, JLT

Synopsis: In the wake of the FCA Consultation on the state of the Investment Consultancy industry it became apparent that those responsible for their pension schemes didn’t always know how to establish whether their Fiduciary Manager was transparent or not. Knowing what the problem is doesn’t help if you don’t know how to solve it. Ian’s presentation will cover a number of questions to help trustees put an FM manager to the test.

10:40 – 11:05: Has income investing had its day in the sun?
Steven Andrew, Fund Manager, M&G

Synopsis: Income strategies delivered strong returns in the aftermath of the financial crisis, as falling interest rates and growth pessimism dominated. However, with many traditional sources of income now offering extremely unattractive yields and the prospect of capital losses in a rising rate environment, investors may need to take advantage of a wider universe to deliver the same outcomes. This need not involve taking extra risk. Multi-asset strategies that are able to seek out the best opportunities and manage overall risk through a diversified portfolio can help deliver the outcomes that pension funds require. Steven Andrew, Fund Manager, will discuss his approach to managing income strategies and the range of opportunities that he identifies today.

11:05 - 11:30 Coffee break

11:30 – 11:55: Can late boomers avoid retirement bust? A new investment strategy for DC
Andy Connell, Head of Portfolio Solutions Group, Schroders

Synopsis: The savings challenges facing the last of the baby boomers and the earliest cohorts of generation X have fundamentally changed. The combination of low inflation, repeated financial crises, falling yields, lower levels of pension security as well as increasing longevity make successful retirement saving increasingly difficult. Against this backdrop, Andy Connell will explore the key issues a “late career” saver (for his purposes an individual over 50) should consider when investing both for and through retirement and consider the following two main risks
1) Pre-retirement risk: that the individual fails to amass sufficient savings to stop working
2) Post retirement risk: that the income from savings is too low or runs out.

11:55 – 12:20: Fiduciary Management in a challenging return environment
Brian McAuley, Client Director, SEI

Synopsis: Over recent years developments in capital markets have been broadly favourable to the asset side of the funding level equation of defined benefit pension schemes. However, a plethora of headwinds threaten continued progress including; central banks’ policy, rising government bond yields, current valuations and an aging bull market. This presentation discusses how Fiduciary Management can address these challenges and help defined benefit plans achieve their long-term goals.

12:20 – 12:45: KEYNOTE SPEAKER: The PPF approach to restructuring and insolvency
Malcolm Weir, Director of Restructuring and Insolvency, Pension Protection Fund

Synopsis: High profile restructuring cases, such as Monarch and British Steel, have attracted significant interest and scrutiny. Malcolm Weir, Director of Restructuring and Insolvency at the PPF, provides an overview of how and why the PPF enters restructuring and rescue deals, and the principles the PPF uses to make its decisions.

12:45 – 13:10: KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Pensions Inadequacy
Tim Sharp, Policy Officer, Economics and Social Affairs Department, Trades Union Congress

Synopsis: In the last year or two, there has been government work on DB pensions, on auto enrolment pensions and on state pensions. But we lack a sense of what outcomes we are seeking to achieve with overall pensions policy; or how these different aspects of pension provision will help today’s workers achieve a decent standard of living in retirement. This presentation will look at how retirement policy has to be taken out of its silos to allow a focus on pensions adequacy.

13:10 – 14:10: Lunch

14:10 – 14:35: Ensuring good member outcomes at retirement
Jonathan Watts-Lay, Director, WEALTH at work

Synopsis: This session will look at the increased complexity facing retirees when deciding how best to generate income in retirement. It will look at the key issues and risks and consider some important steps both employers and trustees are taking to ensure outcomes are improved.

14:35 – 15:20: PANEL DISCUSSION
Nico Aspinall, Chief Investment Officer, B&CE / The People’s Pension
Alistair Byrne, Head of European DC Investment Strategy, State Street Global Advisors
Lydia Fearn, Head of DC and Financial Well-being, Redington

Synopsis: How should DC trustees and plan sponsors take account of Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) issues in the investment strategy of their schemes? This panel discussion will consider how ESG issues fit with trustees’ fiduciary and regulatory duties, the latest thinking on ESG investment strategies, and whether ESG investments can help improve members’ engagement with their pension savings.

15:20 – 15:45: KEYNOTE SPEAKER
Chris Curry, Director, Pensions Policy Institute (PPI)

Synopsis: 2017 saw the DWP review of automatic enrolment, with a number of recommendations about extending both the reach and amount saved in workplace pensions. But how much difference will these changes make, and what should AE be looking to achieve in the longer term?

15:45  15:55: Close of conference: Chairman’s round-up, Apple Watch draw and distribution of M&S vouchers followed by drinks reception

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