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.
Key areas for discussion:
- 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.
- Measures being undertaken by the Pensions Regulator on:
- codes - moving the 15 existing frameworks into a new single code by the end of 2021,
- trustee knowledge and understanding (TKU) - looking at guidance on minimum annual time devoted to learning by lay members and professional trustees, and compliance criteria,
- diversity of trustee boards - how it can be improved, with a new industry working group to examine possible improvements,
- the Defined Benefit (DB) code of practice - with the first consultation including requiring appropriate, timely recovery plans for schemes in deficit, and
- the additional guidance outlined in the Pensions Regulator’s recent annual funding statement, regarding issues relating to affordability and recovery plan design - as well as the moving of contributions to alternative funds and valuations for DB schemes – in response to the impact of COVID-19.
- The legislative framework for the introduction of CDC schemes in the UK, including:
- how schemes will be regulated,
- employee engagement in the design of any new schemes, and
- the potential uptake of CDC schemes and their impact on the existing pensions market.
- Design of dashboards including;
- setting industry-wide interoperable standards and requirements for data,
- raising public awareness and understanding of the dashboards, and
- the likely impact on the financial advice market at a time of growing economic uncertainty.
- Consolidation of thousands of small DC schemes into superfunds, including;
- implications for the way the DC market operates,
- the likely impact on employer choice and saver outcomes, and
- challenges for ensuring a smooth transition.
- Developments regarding sustainable pensions investments, including:
- guidance for schemes following changes to ESG disclosure requirements, and
- the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association’s consultation on aligning pensions schemes with TFCD recommendations.
- 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 Bill’s introduction of new sanctions on company directors mishandling pension scheme finances.
The context for discussion:
- Q1 of 2020 seeing the worst quarterly performance for pensions funds on record.
- The Pensions Regulator consulting on a new code of practice for the sector at a time of increased pressure from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The Pension Schemes Bill currently in parliament, which would introduce Collective Defined Contribution (CDC) schemes in the UK, and severe sanctions for mishandling scheme finances.
- New pensions dashboards due to be introduced from 2021.
- The Pensions Minister recommitting to legislation for the consolidation of small Defined Contribution (DC) schemes into superfunds.
- The Pensions 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 - with senior speakers from Royal Mail and the Communications Workers Union
- Delivering pensions dashboards - common standards, data scope, and usability
- The new regulatory landscape for funds - with a keynote contribution from David Fairs, Executive Director, The Pensions Regulator
- The next steps for governance - the impact of the new DB code of practice, DC consolidation and sustainable investment
Policy officials attending:
Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders.
This one looks like it will be no different. Places have been reserved by officials from HM Revenue & Customs; the Cabinet Office; the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for Transport.
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