News in brief - 21 May 2021

The Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) has acquired a 50 per cent stake in Bruc Energy, the Spain and Portugal renewables-focused investment vehicle.

The transaction, which was arranged by USS Investment Management, saw the scheme invest €225M, around £200m, in return for the stake in a major pipeline of 4000 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) farms. The USS highlighted Spain’s long days of sunshine and national target to reach 100 per cent renewable-based generation by 2050 as making it an attractive place to invest in solar energy, with the "decades long lifespan" of solar PV panels also making them “well-suited” to the USS.

ViaNova working group has partnered with Tisa Exchange (TeX) to launch an initiative to automate pension transfers for corporate schemes and master trusts.

The initiative looks to combine open standard solutions with a common legal framework in an effort to streamline transfer processing, with the pilot seeking to reduce costs for all participants, improve efficiency, and reduce the risk associated with transfers. The pilot scheme will be processing live transfers in early autumn 2021, and, to ensure industry interoperability, will involve a number of pension administrators, including Willis Towers Watson, Capita, Barnett Waddingham, and Mercer.

The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) has begun rolling out Dementia Friends training sessions to all staff.

The awareness sessions started on 17th May to coincide with the start of Dementia Action Week, and represent part of a broader effort by the PPF to become a fully dementia-friendly organisation. The sessions provide an overview of dementia as a condition to enhance employees’ understanding of how it affects those who live with it, and are delivered by three existing members of staff who are fully trained Dementia Friends champions. They have previously been provided to the PPF’s customer facing team since 2018, and have played a key role in the fund’s on-site training.

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