News in brief 22 February

- Legal and General Investment Management (LGIM) has launched a financial wellbeing platform for defined contribution pension scheme members to help people feel financially confident now and in the future.

“Helping people to save for retirement is top of our agenda at LGIM, but we appreciate that short-term money worries take priority over long-term savings for most people. Our hub is aimed at helping members tackle money worries head on,” said LGIM head of DC Emma Douglas.

- Mercer has announced the formation of a new team focused on providing advice around defined benefit (DB) consolidators.

The move follows support in principle by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and The Pensions Regulator (TPR) for the DB consolidator concept. With the focus now on how these arrangements should operate and when are they right for scheme members, rather than whether they should be allowed, Mercer believes there is potentially merit for some schemes to consider investing in consolidators. Headed up by Andrew Ward, the team will draw on wider expertise across risk transfer, covenant assessment, actuarial and investments across Mercer.

- The Merseyside Pension Fund and the Tyne and Wear Pension Fund have joined as limited partners, Hearthstone Investment Management Limited’s Hearthstone Residential Fund 1 (HRF1).

HRF1has now closed above target with just over £200m. The Merseyside Pension Fund and the Tyne and Wear Pension Fund bring the total number of investors to seven UK local authority pension funds. The original first close investors were the Derbyshire Pension Fund, Nottinghamshire Pension Fund, Staffordshire Pension Fund, Teesside Pension Fund, and the West Midlands Pension Fund.

- Buck has announced the launch of its governance toolbox, a solution to help pension schemes meet The Pensions Regulator’s governance standards.

The toolbox aims to address all elements of the regulator’s governance programme in a simple, insightful way to provide support to pension schemes’ trustees and deliver better outcomes for members through effective management. The governance toolbox uses a four-step assessment process that provides a comprehensive review of all aspects of a scheme’s governance, identifies areas for development, offers scheme-specific recommendations, and helps trustees implement cost-effective solutions in areas where improvement is needed. It also identifies and meets trustee training requirements, evaluates the risks and controls in place for individual schemes, and documents short- to long-term priorities for schemes to meet governance standards.

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