Programme List - Defined Contribution Conference 2019
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Programme

08:45– 09:30

Delegate registration and networking

With refreshments

09:30 – 09:35

Chair’s opening remarks

Jonathan Stapleton, Editor, Professional Pensions

09:35 – 10:00

Keynote address

Chris Curry, Director, Pensions Policy Institute

10:05 – 10:30

Innovating the default fund for better outcomes

Despite seismic change - pension freedoms, regulatory improvements and millions of new savers (thank you AE) - the fundamental DC problem remains: how the default fund can provide value for money to members whose needs, goals, and tolerance of risk can vary greatly? With 98% of DC members now invested via a default fund, a more personalised approach is key. This session will look at innovation in the default fund, and other strategies to improve member outcomes.

Chris Inman, Investment Principal, Aon

10:35 – 11:00

Are targets the answer to DC's under saving habit?

Thanks to auto-enrolment, the UK has more workers saving into a pension than ever before, however, the level of saving is unlikely to provide a comfortable retirement for many of those savers. Could targets be the solution to engage scheme members and get them saving more? This session will consider:

  • Understand the impact targets could have on engagement saving
  • What target approach would work best? PLSA planned targets vs alternative approaches
  • Consider how employers and trustees can incorporate targets
Michael Ambery, Head of DC Provider Relations, London, Hymans Robertson

11:00 – 11:20

Morning networking break

With refreshments

11:20 – 11:45

Why empowering disenfranchised members is the key to world-class customer experience and sustainability in the next generation of workplace pensions

Anish Rav, Head of Clients, Proposition and Strategy, Atlas

11:50 – 12:15

Data: is your house in order?

Data is the lynchpin to running an efficient scheme. Trustees and pension managers have never been so focused on the accuracy of data; The Pensions Regulator has highlighted the impact of poor data management as the cause of significant cost to schemes and their members, alongside the potential for reputational damage. Our expert will explain:

  • What does good look like for DC
  • Assessing your data quality
  • Data cleansing
  • Tracing, screening and monitoring
Nick Collyer, Head of Market Engagement, ITM

12:20 – 12:45

Spending Power in Retirement

What are current pensioners spending their money on? How do we ensure tomorrow's generation of retirees have the same carefree spending power? In light of the FCA's focus on decumulation pathways, we examine how DC savers can meet the challenge of increased longevity with confidence. This session will consider:

  • Identifying and meeting the spending needs of UK pensioners
  • Leveraging DB LDI lessons in DC
  • How to prepare for a long-term investing horizon, through retirement and beyond
Alistair Jones, Client Strategy Director, SEI - Institutional Group

12:45 – 13:45

Networking lunch

13:45 – 14:10

The role of ESG in DC schemes

Until recently, there has been little expectation that DC schemes’ default funds would incorporate analysis of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. Most scheme members end up invested in default funds, the majority of which do not explicitly take account of ESG issues, so it is perhaps not surprising that ESG has often been perceived as a niche area that is likely to entail additional costs. This session will examine:

  • ESG and the relationship with socially responsible investing
  • Incorporating ESG into the investment process
  • Can ESG drive member engagement?
  • Why ESG considerations don’t have to mean additional costs
Meaghan Muldoon, EMEA Head of Sustainable Investing, BlackRock

14:15 – 14:40

Maintaining the Balance - Diversified Growth Strategies

For defined contribution schemes, a Diversified Growth Fund (DGF) can help achieve a smoother path to retirement and improve member outcomes along a typical Lifestyle glidepath, with the added ability to access a broad range of asset classes in a single actively managed strategy. In this session, Sorca Kelly-Scholte examines the applications of DGFs' in pension investment and will quantify some of the risks associated with the active asset allocation portion of the DGF strategy, which tends to be the dominant driver of overall portfolio risk.

Sorca Kelly-Scholte, Head of EMEA Pensions & Advisory, J.P. Morgan Asset Management

14:45 – 15:10

Valuing Value for Money

Value for money is the key to delivering the best outcome for DC members, so little surprise it’s a major focus for regulators. However, despite guidance from The Pensions Regulator, there is no industry-wide methodology in place to measure value for money, with opaque investment costs further compounding the issue. Our expert speaker will look at:

  • Defining value for money
  • Creating a framework for assessment
  • Comparing different investment strategies
  • Value versus long-term timeframes

15:10 – 15:40

Afternoon networking break

With refreshments

15:40 – 16:05

Illiquids: Water off a duck’s back?

The government’s recent consultation into DC investment innovation highlights the growing importance of illiquid and alternative assets. Currently 76% of DC assets are invested in bonds and equities, yet greater DC scheme investment in illiquids and alternatives could potentially yield benefits to pension scheme members. This session will consider what these asset classes offer, why they are such a good fit for schemes, and the barriers to investing.

  • Illiquids and alternatives vs equities
  • Costs, fees and the charge cap examined
  • Regulatory, operational and governance challenges

16:10 – 16:40

Panel: CDC - Go or No?

Proponents of CDC argue that it can deliver higher retirement incomes for the same level of contributions as individual DC, due to pooling longevity risk, and through liberating investment strategy from the need for individual de-risking, instead allowing a balanced, return-seeking portfolio over the longer term. However do members understand that they, rather than employers, will bear the funding risk in CDC schemes? This session will consider the pros and cons of CDC, and ask if it is a genuinely useful addition to pension freedoms, or just another confusing element of an already complex system?

Matthew Arends, Principal Consultant, Retirement, Aon
Jon Millidge, Pensions Director, Royal Mail Group
Terry Pullinger, Deputy General Secretary (Postal), CWU
Chair: Jonathan Stapleton, Editor, Professional Pensions

16:40

Chair’s closing remarks and close of conference

Jonathan Stapleton, Editor, Professional Pensions

*Please note, this programme is subject to change