Government gives green light to CDC schemes, but questions remain

The government has given the go-ahead to collective defined contribution schemes, but experts say its consultation response has left a number of issues unaddressed.

GMB members accept revised pension offer from Historic Royal Palaces

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Staff working for Historic Royal Palaces have accepted a revised offer on pension provision, ending months of dispute between the independent charity and the GMB trade union over the closure of their defined benefit scheme.

Global Pensions Wrap: March 16

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A round-up of the pensions industry stories published across the FT Group – from a California fund pushing back on private prison divesture, to a French asset manager’s €1bn coal divestment.

ABF switches platforms for reduced fee and wider range of funds

Bloomberg

The trustees of the Associated British Foods defined contribution pension plan have decided to switch to a new investment platform so that members benefit from a wider range of fund choices and a cheaper platform fee.

Inertia and engagement both have a place in pension comms

Analysis: Defined contribution schemes have been warned to “adapt or die” on member communications, with a range of experts calling for a rethink of engagement.

Invensys changes DC default to target cash

Trustees of the Invensys Pension Scheme have updated their defined contribution default to target cash instead of an annuity.

Comment & Analysis

Inertia and engagement both have a place in pension comms

Analysis: Defined contribution schemes have been warned to “adapt or die” on member communications, with a range of experts calling for a rethink of engagement.

Keep in mind the member impact of pension changes

Angus Peters

Editorial: The March edition of Pensions Expert is out tomorrow, and several stories in this month’s magazine remind us of the people affected by the decisions made by trustees, sponsors, advisers, providers and government.

USS dispute has exposed a transparency deficit

Jo Cumbo (teaser)

Columnist Josephine Cumbo argues that debate over the valuation of the UK's largest private sector defined benefit fund could see actuaries and regulators subjected to greater scrutiny by members in future.

Videos & Podcasts

Improving the quality of professional trustees

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Podcast: Last month, the Professional Trustee Standards Working Group published a set of new standards, which all professional trustees will be expected to meet. The group is also due to launch an associated accreditation framework later this year. In this episode of the PE podcast, Rachel Croft, director at Independent Trustee Services, explains what these new standards mean for schemes, how they will improve professional trustee quality, and whether increasing professionalisation and rising workloads could lead to the extinction of the lay trustee. 

How to approach the bulk annuity market

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Podcast: 2019 is predicted to break last year's record for bulk annuity deals. But with insurers being more selective, experts have stressed the need for defined benefit pension scheme trustees to make sure they are well prepared before approaching the market. In this episode, Marian Elliott, head of integrated actuarial at consultancy Redington, discusses the main drivers behind increased derisking activity in recent years, and explains how pension funds should prepare for transactions.

ESG: Trustee investment duties explained

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Podcast: New regulations coming into force this year mean pension schemes will be required to publish more-detailed statements of investment principles. These will address financially material environmental, social and governance risks, such as climate change. In this episode, Stuart O'Brien, a partner at law firm Sackers, discusses recent ESG-related developments, the danger of conflating ethical matters with ESG considerations, and explains how schemes can respond to member and pressure group queries.