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 / +044 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7538736244.

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

Morning, Monday, 2nd November 2020

Online Conference

***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 agenda:

  • 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

Keynote Speaker

David Fairs

Executive Director, The Pensions Regulator


Lord Sharkey


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 Adviser, Pensions & Institutional Market, The Investment Association

Jon Millidge

Chief Risk and Governance Officer, Royal Mail

Terry Pullinger

Deputy General Secretary, Postal, Communication Workers Union

Rosalind Connor

Partner, Arc Pension Law

Emma Douglas

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

Lesley Carline

President, Pensions Management Institute and Director, KGC Associates