Westminster Business Forum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7538736244.
For delegates already booked on, we will send you the online joining instructions (including links, event numbers and passwords) five working days before your conference. If you cannot find these in your inbox please email delegate.relations@forumsupport.co.uk

Pensions policy - new governance regulations, implementing pensions dashboards, and introducing the CDC model

Morning, Monday, 2nd November 2020

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference will examine major reforms being planned for pensions policy - and their impact on the future shape of the pensions market.

The discussion is bringing together stakeholders with key policy officials due to attend from the DWP; the Cabinet Office; HMRC; FCDO; DfT; the MOD; and the Welsh Government.

The agenda:

  • The Pensions Schemes Bill and government’s wider vision for the future of pensions policy
  • Introducing Collective Defined Contribution (CDC) schemes in the UK - potential uptake and impact on the market, employee engagement in scheme design, and effective regulation
  • Case study - establishing a CDC scheme
  • Key developments for pension providers and long-term savings
  • Delivering pensions dashboards - common standards, data scope, and usability
  • The new regulatory landscape for funds - new powers for the Pensions Regulator, trustee knowledge and understanding, and the defined benefit (DB) funding code of practice
  • The next steps for fund governance - the impact of the new DB code of practice, DC consolidation, and sustainable investment

Further developments that are relevant to the discussion: 

  • Major consultation on clearer DB funding standards launched by TPR - The Pensions Regulator consulting on a new code of practice for defined benefit funding
  • The Pension Schemes Bill currently in parliament, with:
    • Collective Defined Contribution (CDC) schemes in the UK, and severe sanctions for mishandling scheme finances
    • new powers for the Pensions Regulator- including speeding up receipt of information regarding schemes
    • House of Lords amendments to the Bill, with new measures proposing:
      • dashboards do not include provisions for financial transaction activities
      • a publicly owned dashboard service will need to be operational for a year and be evaluated before commercial dashboard services can operate
      • maintaining affordability of contributions to employers and members as part of DB scheme regulations
      • evaluation of the fairness of schemes to members to be conducted by CDC scheme trustees
  • pensions dashboards - due to be introduced from 2021, with a detailed timeline expected by the end of the year
  • The Pensions Regulator’s Corporate Plan 2020-21 - outlining priorities for addressing pensions saver risks and protections in light of COVID-19, with plans for new regulatory incentives put on hold
  • consolidation of small Defined Contribution (DC) schemes into superfunds - the Pensions Minister recommitting to legislation
  • Taking action on climate risk: improving governance and reporting by occupational pension schemes - government consultation on new climate-risk reporting requirements for the largest occupational pensions schemes

The discussion in detail:

  • COVID-19 - its impact on pension fund assets, with discussion expected on priorities and options for policy and strategies to support recovery, and protect retirement incomes - and the sector itself
  • The Pensions Regulator - assessing measures being undertaken on:
    • codes - moving the 15 existing frameworks into a new single code by the end of 2021
    • TKU - trustee knowledge and understanding, looking at guidance on minimum annual time devoted to learning by lay members and professional trustees, and compliance criteria
    • diversity - how it can be improved in trustee boards, with a new industry working group to examine possible improvements
    • the DB code of practice - with the first consultation including requiring appropriate, timely recovery plans for schemes in deficit
    • affordability and recovery plan design - additional guidance outlined in the Pensions Regulator’s recent annual funding statement, as well as the moving of contributions to alternative funds and valuations for DB schemes, in response to the impact of COVID-19
    • recently published guidance for establishing DB pension scheme superfunds ahead of Government legislation, with the interim regulatory regime setting out expectations for how the new funds show they are governed and run responsibly
  • CDC schemes - the legislative framework for their introduction of in the UK, including regulation, employee engagement at the design stage, uptake and market impact, and taxation changes
  • DC schemes - consolidation into superfunds, including market implications, the likely impact on employer choice and saver outcomes, smoothing implementation and options for reassessing investment approaches in light of pandemic
  • dashboards - looking at parliamentary interventions, setting industry-wide interoperable standards and requirements for data, public engagement, consumer protection, their costs, and the likely impact on the financial advice market at a time of growing economic uncertainty
  • Sustainable pensions investments:
    • guidance for schemes - following changes to ESG disclosure requirements, and government net-zero targets and global temperature goals set out in the Paris Agreement
    • the Pension Schemes Bill - assessing provisions mandating pensions schemes align with TFCD recommendations, ensuring occupational schemes consider the risk of climate change and trustees publicly disclose how they’ve done so
    • reporting - examining the planned requirement for publishing data on each schemes’ carbon footprint by 2022
  • Regulation and governance
    • the balance of fund management regulation - with some industry concerns that a tighter framework may result in DB scheme closures and impact on businesses ability to invest more widely
    • pension governance - its future at a time of considerable reform, including the Pension Schemes Bill’s introduction of new sanctions on company directors mishandling pension scheme finances, which makes grossly reckless behaviour a criminal offence

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have been reserved by officials from the Department for Work and Pensions; the Cabinet Office; Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office; HM Revenue & Customs; the Department for Transport; the Ministry of Defence; and the Welsh Government. Also due to attend are representatives from Carpenter Rees; Communication Workers Union; DLA Piper; Frontier Economics; Hymans Robertson; Impact Investing Institute; Lloyds Banking Group; NOPCC; Options UK Workplace Pensions; Orchard Hill College Academy Trust; Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association; Royal Mail Pensions Trustees; Sacker & Partners; Sackers; Scottish Widows; Stephenson Harwood; Technical Standards & Safety Authority; The Nursing and Midwifery Council; The Open University; The Pensions Ombudsman; The Pensions Regulator; Travers Smith and UNISON Staffordshire University Branch.

A press pass has been reserved by a representative from Financial Times; Investment & Pensions Europe and mallowstreet.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speaker

David Fairs

Executive Director, The Pensions Regulator

Keynote Speakers

Guy Opperman MP

Minister for Pensions and Financial Inclusion

Dr Yvonne Braun

Director of Policy, Long Term Savings & Protection, Association of British Insurers (ABI)

Jon Millidge

Director of Pensions Reform, Royal Mail

Terry Pullinger

Deputy General Secretary, Postal, Communication Workers Union

David Fairs

Executive Director, The Pensions Regulator


Lord Sharkey

Baroness Drake


Chris Curry

Principal, Pensions Dashboards Programme at the Money and Pensions Service

Professor Ania Zalewska

Professor of Finance and Director of the Centre for Governance, Regulation and Industrial Strategy (CGR&IS) at the School of Management, University of Bath

Imran Razvi

Senior Policy Advisor, Pensions & Institutional Market, The Investment Association

Rosalind Connor

Partner, Arc Pension Law

Emma Douglas

Head of DC, Legal & General Investment Management and Chair, Policy Board, Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association

Maurice Titley

Chief Innovation Officer, ITM

Lesley Carline

Immediate Past President, Pensions Management Institute and Director, KGC Associates

Charlotte Tyrwhitt-Drake

Director, Pensions for Purpose

Patrick Bloomfield

Partner, Hymans Robertson, and Chair, Association of Consulting Actuaries