Programme List - Professional Pensions Scheme Funding Summit 2018


09:00 – 09:30

Delegate Registration

09:30 – 09:35

Chair’s introduction and opening remarks
Stephanie Baxter, Deputy Editor, Professional Pensions

09:35 – 10:05

Opening keynote address: Striking a balance

David Taylor, Executive Director and General Counsel at the Pension Protection Fund, will explore some of the biggest issues facing the PPF today, including what their modelling tells them about broader scheme funding in the Defined Benefit universe protected by the PPF, his thoughts on the forthcoming TPR-led consultation on revising the scheme funding code, and the emergence of new models (eg. commercial consolidators). He will also touch on how the PPF is responding to the CJEU judgment in September 2018, which ruled that individual pension scheme members should receive at least 50% of the value of their accrued old age benefits in the event of employer insolvency.

David Taylor, General Counsel, The Pension Protection Fund

10:10 – 10:40

Tackling pension deficits and the home ownership crisis

The UK has one of the lowest participations by institutional investors in residential property relative to other advanced economies:

  • The banking crisis of 2008, Quantitative Easing and persistent housing undersupply relative to demand has resulted in declining rates of home ownership, while the short-termism of traditional UK private-to-private letting model leaves renters facing persistent uncertainty
  • An opportunity exists to deliver alternative income to long-term institutional investors by bringing much needed and innovative investment products to the residential property sector 
  • The UK residential property market is one of the few "alternative asset" classes where we believe that the supply-demand balance favours investors
Adrian Jones, Director, Alternative Assets, Allianz Global Investors

10:45 – 11:15

To buy-in or not to buy-in?

The bulk annuity (buy-in and buy-out) market looks set to hit record levels in 2018, with activity being driven by a combination of strong investment performance, a slowing in longevity expectations and competitive pricing. Given that the majority of buy-in transactions cover only retired members who are already drawing a pension, care must be taken to consider the impact on the scheme as a whole. In this session we will consider some of the potential issues associated with use of buy-ins and examine alternative de-risking options that could be used to provide better risk management at the overall scheme level.

Howard Kearns, Longevity Pricing Director, Insight Investment

11:15 – 11:40

Networking break: Caffeine hit

11:40 – 12:10

Integrated Risk Management: a framework for managing risk

'Covenant, funding and investment decisions interact...a material change to one affects the other two'. The Pensions Regulator's focus on trustees adopting an Integrated Risk Management has increased over the past few years. In this session we will explore wht IRM is and the benefits of thinking in the round. We also introduce the IRM equation and suggest ways in which trustees can design their own IRN framework. 

Rosalind Scott-Douglas, Fiduciary Manager, Schroders

12:15 – 12:45

Fiduciary Management - the changing landscape

Fiduciary management can have benefits for trustees and scheme sponsors alike. Effective delegation can significantly reduce trustees' governance burden whilst delivering a tailored investment approach to support members' benefits and improve scheme funding positions. In July 2018, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published the provisional conclusions from its review of the supply and acquisition of investment consulting and fiduciary management (FM) services in the UK. Join us as we explore the evolution of the FM market and the implications that the CMA review are expected to have for pension schemes in the coming months.

Sarah Leslie, Head of UK Fiduciary Management, Russell Investments

12:50 – 13:50

Lunch and exhibition networking

13:50 – 14:20

Afternoon keynote: An update from the regulator

The Pensions Regulator's Head of Policy will discuss current issues and the new DB funding code.

Fiona Frobisher, Head of Policy, The Pensions Regulator

14:25 – 14:55

Assessing the employer covenant strength

The recent spate of high-profile insolvencies have hammered home the importance of a strong covenant for schemes of all sizes. While trustees are increasingly aware of covenant risk, they are also limited in their formal power to block corporate activity or dividend policies that might weaken their employer covenant. This session looks at how trustee boards can assess the strength of the covenant, as well as practical steps to bolster the relationship.

Tom Partridge, Partner, Financial Advisory - Pensions, Deloitte

15.00 – 15.25

PANEL: What does political uncertainty mean for scheme deficits?

Unlike thousands of businesses that trade with the EU, the management of the UK's pension schemes is largely a domestic matter, governed by UK legislation and with benefits paid in Sterling. Whilst offering some insulation from the turbulence ahead, the knock-on effect of a volatile UK economy will feed through to the sponsor covenant, investment returns and could affect fundamental cornerstones of pension investment such as access to investments. What steps can schemes take to ride out the Brexit storm and other global geopolitical turbulence?

Joe Dabrowski, Head of DB, LGPS, and Standards, PLSA
Simon Kew, Director, Financial Advisory - Pensions, Deloitte
Naomi L'Estrange, Trustee Director, 2020 Trustees
Hugh Nolan, Director, Spence & Partners

15:25 – 15:30

Chair’s closing remarks
Stephanie Baxter, Deputy Editor, Professional Pensions


*Please note: Programme is subject to change