Global Pensions Wrap: May 25 edition

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A round-up of the global pensions industry stories published across the FT Group – from a Taiwan fund boosting its absolute return exposure, to an ex-fire chief’s 15-year sentence for a $10m (£7.9m) Ponzi scam. 

Light at end of tunnel in Barnet admin fiasco

Long-running issues with poor-quality data at the London Borough of Barnet Pension Fund, administered by Capita, are at last showing some signs of improvement.

Ex-energy secretary: Force divestment from companies flouting Paris accord

Former energy secretary Sir Ed Davey outlined his “radical but practical” vision to tackle climate change in Westminster on Wednesday, as cross-party pressure mounts on the government to take action.

UMSS focuses on sustainability with new equity manager appointments

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The £609m University of Manchester Superannuation Scheme has appointed two new equity managers who invest in companies picked on sustainability grounds.

Phoenix moves to simplify own scheme's benefits with PIE

Nearly two fifths of eligible pensioners in a scheme sponsored by Phoenix Group have accepted a pension increase exchange offer from , which has shaved about £20m from the bulk annuity insurer's liabilities.

Time to ask more questions on ESG

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Regulatory developments, together with a general rise in public awareness of issues such as climate change, have helped move environmental, social and governance considerations up pension scheme agendas, but will greenwashing, lack of transparency and poor understanding hinder trustee efforts?

Comment & Analysis

Davey: 'Addicted' schemes should lead way in decarbonising capitalism

Sir Edward Davey

Liberal Democrat MP Sir Ed Davey launches a rallying call for pension funds "addicted" to carbon dividends to tackle the elephant in the room and align portfolios with the Paris climate agreement.

Avoiding environmental catastrophe is not just about investments

Daniel Taylor

In its preoccupation with the impact on investments on environmental, social and governance issues, Trafalgar House Pensions Administration's Daniel Taylor says the pensions industry has overlooked climate impacts much closer to home.

Schemes are now part of a sea change in ESG investing

Sophia Imeson

Editorial: Pension funds are set to engage with issues such as climate change more than ever before, as regulatory developments and increased awareness push environmental, social and governance considerations up the agenda.

Videos & Podcasts

Is LGPS governance up to scratch?

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Podcast: From asset pooling and actuarial valuations, to administration and data, local government pension schemes have a lot to think about this year – meaning good governance is more important than ever. In this podcast episode, Kirsty Bartlett, partner at law firm Squire Patton Boggs, and Ian Colvin, head of LGPS benefits and governance at Hymans Robertson, discuss potential conflicts of interest, pressure on fund resources and the importance of focusing on administration.

How to select the right master trust

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Podcast: Master trusts have until the end of March to complete their applications to the Pensions Regulator for authorisation. In this PE podcast episode, Ian McQuade, director at Muse Advisory, discusses master trust selection and how the watchdog's authorisation and supervision regime will change the market.

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.