08:55 – 09:25: Access to conference opens
09:25 – 09:30: Chair’s welcome
Laura Blows, Editor, Pensions Age
09:30 – 10:00: Opening Keynote speaker: The Pensions Regulator (TPR) corporate plan update
Fiona Frobisher, Head of Policy, The Pensions Regulator (TPR)
Fiona Frobisher will offer an update on the key areas of focus for The Pensions Regulator in the current climate, highlighting the main elements of TPR’s Corporate Plan 2021-22, which sets out the regulator’s direction for the next year. Fiona will also be online to answer any questions posed by delegates on the day.
10:00 – 10:30: Infrastructure investing: “Back to Basics”
Ian Berry, Head of Infrastructure, River and Mercantile
As UK pension funds are being urged to step up their allocation to infrastructure investments to help preserve the long-term stability of the UK economy, Ian Berry, Head of Infrastructure at River and Mercantile will be going “back to basics” on this asset class. What is infrastructure investing? What are the different ways of investing in infrastructure? How is ESG integrated within the investment decisions and what sort of risk and return should funds expect from this asset class? During this session these questions, and more, will be answered.
10:30 – 10:40: Comfort break
Tony Attubato and Paul Day will introduce The Pensions Ombudsman (TPO) volunteer programme, encouraging professionals in the pensions industry to get involved and make a difference. The TPO volunteer programme is well established and has approx. 200 volunteers from across the pensions industry. Volunteers are a major asset to the TPO. They play an integral role in helping the TPO to resolve informally complaints from the public about their personal pension. There are a number of benefits to volunteering, including excellent networking opportunities and career development prospects. The training volunteers receive can be used towards their CPD hours. Firms may also incorporate the TPO volunteer programme within their Corporate Social Reasonability and/or pro-bono initiatives. For more information visit https://www.pensions-ombudsman.org.uk/jobs-and-volunteering
11:10 – 11:40: DC Decumulation: A new framework
Nigel Peaple, Director of Policy and Advocacy, PLSA
Pension savers face difficult choices when it comes to deciding how to access their pension. At the same time, pension providers want to provide more support but face tough regulatory challenges of their own. The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) has called for the introduction of a new regulatory framework for defined contribution decumulation that it believes will lead to better outcomes for savers, especially the less engaged. PLSA director of policy and advocacy, Nigel Peaple, explains how its proposals, dubbed Guided Retirement Income Choices, might work in practice.
11:40 – 12:10: Diversity and inclusion: The Pension Protection Fund’s perspective
Dana Grey, Director of Legal, Compliance and Ethics, Pension Protection Fund (PPF)
Dana Grey, Director of Legal, Compliance and Ethics and the PPF’s executive sponsor on diversity and inclusion (D&I) will be focussing on D&I within the PPF. This will include the PPF’s D&I Strategy 2020-2025, how it is embedding D&I across the organisation and its recently published Diversity Pay Gap Report. As the PPF Strategic Plan 2019 – 2022 sets out, it is critical for the PPF to be a diverse and inclusive place of work at all levels, to boost innovation, improve risk identification, bring insight and efficiency to its operations, and provide better service to its members. Dana will also be available online to answer any questions from the delegates.
12:10 – 12:30: Lunch break
12:30 – 13:00: Keynote speaker
Ian McKnight, CIO, Royal Mail Pension Trustees
Ian McKnight, CIO of Royal Mail Pension Trustees, oversaw the schemes’ 2012 asset transfer to Government, and now oversees investments totalling c.£15 billion across three pension plans. Ian will talk about how the Plan has managed to keep investment returns up so well during the pandemic and its plans for the future, including offering an update on the plan’s investment strategy over the past year and going forward, his thoughts on ESG, private equity and other exciting areas of pensions investment.
13:00 – 13:30: The view of the pension trustee
Richard Butcher, Managing Director, PTL
Richard Butcher, MD of PTL, will discuss the impact of an increasingly connected society on the pensions ecosystem and how the industry can take advantage of this to drive enhancements in pensions, specifically in member engagement and fiduciary/provider decision making. Think Amazon, think Tesco, think Facebook – all using data to drive people to making better decisions for themselves. Richard will ask whether we, as an industry, are using all the data available to us to design to the best effect? Could we improve scheme design and/or our member interventions? Are we open-minded enough to move from analogue to truly digital age comms? Are our anti-scam processes state of the art and will they continue to be?
13:30 – 13:45: Chair's round up and close of conference
Laura Blows, Editor, Pensions Age