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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. 

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.

A closer look at DB consolidation

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Podcast: Last month, the government published a consultation on the consolidation of defined benefit pension schemes. What is the outlook for DB superfunds? And what should trustees consider if they are thinking about switching from a sponsor covenant to a consolidator covenant? In this episode, Alex Hutton-Mills, managing director at Lincoln Pensions, and Paul McGlone, president of the Society of Pension Professionals, discuss the consultation and whether early adopter nerves are holding back inflows to the new DB consolidators.

Next steps for the pensions dashboard project

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Podcast: Earlier this month, the Department for Work and Pensions published its long-awaited feasibility report and consultation on how the industry can create online pensions dashboards. What does the industry make of the study? And how much progress is needed to make the project a success? In this episode, Girish Menezes, board director at the Pensions Administration Standards Association, and Anthony Rafferty, managing director of fintech company Origo, discuss compulsion, dashboard governance and data.

What can we learn from the Barnardo's outcome?

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Podcast: Earlier this month, the Supreme Court ruled that Barnardo’s cannot change the inflation protection it provides to members of its defined benefit scheme from the retail price index to the consumer price index. So, what does the result mean for other DB pension funds and their sponsors? Matthew de Ferrars, pensions partner at law firm Pinsent Masons, and Faye Jarvis, pensions partner at law firm Hogan Lovells, discuss what trustees can learn from the recent Barnardo's outcome.

What does the future hold for LDI?

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Podcast: The popularity of liability-driven investment strategies among defined benefit pension funds has increased over the years. In 2017, the total notional value of liabilities hedged by LDI strategies continued to grow, rising to £965bn from £904bn, according to XPS Pensions research. In this episode, Nick Harvey, principal at XPS Pensions, discusses how scheme exposure to LDI has changed over time, and what the future holds for this type of investment strategy.

DC default design: Make sure you understand your members

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Podcast: Last month, Pensions Expert reported that trustees of the Lloyds Bank Pension Scheme No.1 had overhauled the default offering for their DC members. In this episode, Lydia Fearn, head of DC and financial well-being at consultancy Redington, and Maria Nazarova-Doyle, senior investment consultant and head of DC investment consulting at JLT Employee Benefits, discuss the most important factors for trustees to consider when designing or reviewing their default investment strategy.