Drawdown is climbing the DC agenda — but there’s no easy fix

Data crunch: Broadridge’s Hal La Thangue on that as-yet unsolved problem of decumulation products suitable for the coming generations of retirees

Brunel achieves carbon intensity reduction target

Brunel Pension Partnership has achieved its target of reducing the carbon intensity of its active portfolio by 7 per cent a year in time for the UN’s World Environment Day, but smaller schemes saddled with pooled products may lack the clout required to emulate them.

Nissan proposes DB scheme closure as sponsor pressure mounts

Nissan Sunderland

Workers at Nissan’s manufacturing plant in Sunderland could be facing a cut to their benefits, with the carmaker proposing to close its defined benefit scheme, while experts said the Covid-19 pandemic could push more sponsors to follow suit.

Suffolk holds firm through equity volatility storm

Suffolk Pension Fund has reported a bounceback in its asset values after taking a £327m hit in the first quarter of the year, as experts said it is still legitimate for immature defined benefit schemes to lean on the equity risk premium.

USS divests from coal, tobacco and weapons manufacturers

Coal power station (teaser)

The UK’s largest pension scheme has announced it is to divest from selected coal, tobacco and weapons manufacturers, following years of campaigning by members and activist groups.

Poor Q1 returns catch up on risky fiduciary managers

Fiduciary managers with heavily equity-based portfolios suffered the heaviest losses in the first quarter of 2020, as the wide variation in strategies continues to provoke discussion about the right level of growth portfolio diversification.

Comment & Analysis

Do asset-backed funding structures need an update?

Nicklin, Rahman (teaser)

It has now been more than a decade since Marks and Spencer implemented the first asset-backed funding structure, and some of the industry’s pioneering arrangements are showing their age, according to CMS’s Alex Nicklin and Rizwan Rahman.

Trustees must face hard governance truths after Covid shake-up

Jo Cumbo (teaser)

Tough decisions thrown up by the Covid-19 crisis are exposing the governance gap between trustee boards with adequate technical knowledge, and well-meaning but underskilled amateurs. The regulator must keep up its push for better standards, argues FT pensions correspondent and Pensions Expert columnist Josephine Cumbo.

More than a number: what it means to be a professional trustee

Greig McGuinness

Dalriada’s Greig McGuinness recounts his experience of accreditation as a professional trustee, and gives his thoughts on the responsibility to uphold the profession that comes with completing the process.

Videos & Podcasts

'Crystal ball-gazing' makes ethical investment tough for trustees

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Podcast: Irwin Mitchell’s pensions partner Penny Cogher and independent consultant Malcolm McLean join us to discuss innovative endgame deals, new insolvency laws, and some morally dubious LGPS investments. 

The days of ‘amateurish’ trusteeship are over

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Podcast: The challenges posed by Covid-19 will accelerate the move towards professional trusteeship, according to Mercer’s chief actuary Charles Cowling, who argues that the responsibilities in this area post-coronavirus will be too much for lay trustees to handle alone. He and Catherine McFadyen, head of public sector actuarial, benefits and governance at Hymans Robertson, discuss LGPS funding, the impact of mortality rates, and give their predictions about the post-crisis world.

McClymont: UK still has far too many master trusts

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Podcast: The UK master trust market is still lacking the scale needed to provide the best outcomes for members, argues Gregg McClymont, director of policy at The People’s Pension. He and Pat Sharman, managing director at Caceis, discuss concerns from the Pensions Regulator regarding the investment strategies pursued by some of the UK’s authorised master trusts, among other topics.