Programme List - Pensions and Benefits UK 2018
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Programme

08:45
Registration opens 

Delegates register and browse exhibition stands

09:30 - 09:40
Chairman’s introduction and welcome

Jonathan Stapleton, Editor-in-Chief of Professional Pensions & Workplace Savings and Benefits

09:40 - 10:05
Opening keynote address: Guy Opperman, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Work and Pensions

KING GEORGE

10:10 - 10:35
KEYNOTE: Jack Dromey MP, Shadow Minister for Pensions

KING GEORGE

10:35 - 10:45
10 minutes to move between rooms
10:45 - 11:30
KEYNOTE PANEL: Women in pensions

In the current climate diversity has never been more important and although diversity on Trustee boards and investment committees has been a growing topic of concern over the last few years PBUK 2018 wants to focus on women in pensions. Why pick gender over other types of diversity? Women are a minority in the financial sector across global markets, making them the “universal diversifier.” This panel will explore the barriers for women in pensions, encouraging confidence in the women in your industry and what the industry can do to ensure a diverse future.

Margaret Snowdon, Chairman, PASA
Andrew Warwick Thompson, CEO, LGPS Central
Joanna Matthews, Chairwoman of Royal Mail Pension Trustees and Client Director at Capital Cranfield
Lesley Carline, Vice President, Pensions Management Institute

KING GEORGE

KEYNOTE PANEL: Employee Benefits - Let’s get personal!

The best employers are now going beyond one-size-fits-all packages offering highly personalised benefits, tailored to the individual needs and situations of their staff. The desire of employers to understand their staff, bolstered by legislative changes have forced firms to be more efficient in handling employee data. Benefits packages need to be constantly flexible to catch up with the changes to work that have occurred in recent decades such as the rise in flexible and remote-working. This panel of experts will discuss the future of employee benefits; how to structure a package to reflect company culture and values, boost morale, attract talent and retain staff.

Neil Goodwin, Reward Director, Countrywide Plc
Amy Goodwin, Head of Reward & Wellbeing, Mundipharma
Jim Cowan, Head of Benefits, RBS

QUEEN CHARLOTTE

11:30 - 12:00
Refreshments and networking break

PORTER TUN EXHIBITION HALL

12:00 - 12:30
OPENING KEYNOTE: Shifts in monetary policy

Central banks are beginning the long and winding road towards tighter monetary policy and interest rate normalisation. The big questions for investors are how long will it take central banks to unwind their balance sheets, will there be a smooth reversal, and how would a rapid unwinding impact markets?

Marian Bell, Consultant Economist

Creating a savings culture and empowering your employees

Helping employees to address their different financial concerns is high on the agenda among employers; while the implementation of pensions auto-enrolment in 2012 brought about a renewed focus on saving for retirement, it has become commonplace for employers to offer support for other financial matters. This session will analyse the state of UK savings, savings gaps: gender, age and region and how employers can start supporting a savings culture and an inclusive ‘hire to retire' strategy.

QUEEN CHARLOTTE

Stream 1 - DB Schemes

KING GEORGE
12:40 - 13:10
CMA Review

Is investment consultancy too powerful and uncompetitive? The Financial Conduct Authority's referral of investment consultants and fiduciary managers for investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in September 2017 was a landmark decision in the finance industry. Their concerns are around a small group of advisers dominating the market, and investment consultants acting as advisers but also as fiduciary managers. This panel of experts will tackle the three main issues in this debate: Is there a lack of competition? Is there a lack of transparency? Do Trustees rely too much on advisers?

Alison Gold, Project Director, CMA

13:10 - 14:10
Lunch and networking break

PORTER TUN EXHIBITION HALL

14:10 - 14:40
Partner insight session - The next derisking innovation?

Longevity hedges have long been considered a hurdle to doing a bulk annuity, but nearly 10 years on from the first longevity swap recent breakthroughs in opening up to smaller schemes show the market is undergoing its next innovation. This session will discuss whether longevity swaps are a barrier to entering the bulk annuity market and the process of unwinding a swap.

Uzma Nazir, Head of Origination Structuring, PIC

14:45- 15:15
Partner insight session - Does Group Risk help in pensions de-risking?

Many DB pension schemes provide for ill-health retirees in their scheme rules, and many more grant ill-health pensions at the discretion of trustees. Group Income Protection (GIP) is increasingly used to support these commitments, without GIP ill-health retirement can put unplanned financial strain on DB pension schemes, and deciding entitlement can be uncomfortable for trustees because of the risk of inconsistency in making incapacity decisions. GIP transfers ill-health retirement risk away from the pension scheme, and supports objectives for all key pension stakeholders.
This session will discusses historic and projected growth in the use of GIP in pensions risk management, and situations in which GIP is an especially attractive solution and evidence case studies from a range of industries and pension schemes where GIP has been used as the solution.

Bill Mansfield, Head of Market Insight & Trustee, Unum

15:20 - 15:50
PANEL: Outlook for longevity

Never before has life expectancy been so uncertain to predict creating what some are calling a ‘longevity fog.' Life expectancy could now be falling in parts of the UK as future drivers of life expectancy become more uncertain. Innovations in technology are likely to have a huge impact on future mortality models but when or how big the impact will be is still unknown. This panel will look at the outlook for longevity, how it is likely to improve in the future, the key factors affecting changes in longevity and how this affects scheme liabilities.

Frank Oldham, Independent Trustee, MMC UK Pension Fund
Tim Gordon, Partner, Aon

15:50 - 16:15
Refreshments and networking

PORTER TUN EXHIBITION HALL

16:15 - 16:45
Partner insight session - DB Consolidation - What will the future be?

This will be a discussion session to explore the topics of DB Consolidation. We will consider why the existing DB landscape may be ripe for consolidation and whether this is an area Trustees and Corporate Sponsors should be looking at now. We will also look at the current ideas in the market and the challenges that they bring.

Gareth Strange, Senior Director, Willis Towers Watson
Dave Roberts, Director, Willis Towers Watson

16:50 - 17:20
CLOSING KEYNOTE: The Pensions Ombudsman

KING GEORGE

17:20 - 17:25
Chairman’s closing remarks - close of conference content day 1

Stephanie Baxter, Deputy Editor, Professional Pensions

17:25 - 18:15
Networking Drinks Reception

 

Stream 2 - DC Schemes

QUEEN CHARLOTTE
12:40 - 13:10
Partner insight session - When can safe investments be risky for DC members?
  • What are DC savers typically invested in before retirement and how benefits are taken at retirement
  • What happens when people invest in cash throughout (aka ISA)
  • Pushing member investment choice too hard can be detrimental - learning from the US experience is key (i.e. defaults are not a bad thing)
  • Fixed income has traditionally been used to "de-risk" investments but in the world of Freedom & Choice they may actually be risky!
Chris Inman, Investment Principal, Aon
13:10 - 14:10
Lunch and networking break

PORTER TUN EXHIBITION HALL

14:10 - 14:40
DC Investment panel

UK occupational pension assets grew 16.9 per cent over 2017 but concerning trends in saver attitudes suggest market returns may be masking fundamental problems. However, there is disparity between long and short-term trends largely due to the distorting effect of recent market returns. Given the extent to which defined contribution schemes are already invested in growth assets, is there much room for further investment? The lack of value in certain strands of fixed income speaks for a greater equity allocation however Trustees are yet to see the switch from bonds to equities at scheme level. This panel will discuss the best options for DC schemes.

Clive Gilchrist, Deputy Chairman, BESTrustees

14:45- 15:15
Partner insight sesison -Is ESG right for DC?

Pension schemes are increasingly focusing on ESG issues as a way of managing long-term financial risks in their members' investments, rather than simply as ethical investing. This session considers how to include ESG factors in investment strategies as well as the impact on investment performance and in changing the behaviour of the companies we invest in. We also discuss how ESG investing can be used to help engage members with their DC savings.

SSGA

15:20 - 15:50
Partner insight session -When life gets blurry, adjust your focus..

We all know pension freedoms come with opportunity, choice, risk and complexity. Against a backdrop of poor consumer understanding and scams; mistakes are easy to make, expensive and typically irreversible. In this session we explore some of the key member risks and look at what affordable advice can deliver beyond guidance, defaults and existing member communications.

Andrew Pennie, Marketing Director, Intelligent Pensions

15:50 - 16:15
Refreshments and networking

PORTER TUN EXHIBITION HALL

16:15 - 16:45
PANEL: Should CDC be back on the table?

The debate on collective defined contribution (CDC) is still very much back on the table in the UK. The Work and Pensions Committee (WPC) launched a new inquiry into the merits of this idea last year as while these structures are commonplace in the Netherlands, Canada and Denmark, they continue to divide opinion in the UK pensions sector. CDC covers a range of different possible benefit structures, and includes variations where there is some form of promise or guarantee on part of a final income. This panel will consider if CDC is a suitable solution as an alternative middle ground solution to pure DC and DB, notably the focus it places on income and leading to less volatility in the outcome.

David Pitt-Watson, Executive Fellow, London Business School
Terry Pullinger, Deputy General Secretary (Postal), CWU
Tim Middleton, Technical Consultant, PMI

16:50 - 17:20
CLOSING KEYNOTE: The Pensions Ombudsman

KING GEORGE

17:20 - 17:25
Chairman’s closing remarks - close of conference content day 1

Stephanie Baxter, Deputy Editor, Professional Pensions

17:25 - 18:15
Networking Drinks Reception

Exhibition Zone

Stream 3 - Benefits & Reward

JAMES WATT
12:40 - 13:10
Case study: Should employers reward employees for healthy habits?

While I'm sure every employer wants their employees to be healthy how do you go about incentivising this? In a recent study carried out at London Business School they found that employee engagement was the overriding concern facing executives. The whole question of rewarding people for certain behaviour relates to how staff are engaged.

  • Encouraging employees to internalise their own desire to look after their own health.
  • How to avoid the ‘over-justification' effect.

 

13:10 - 14:10
Lunch and networking break

PORTER TUN EXHIBITION HALL

14:10 - 14:40
Partner insight session -Understanding how the ageing workforce will change attitudes towards retirement and demand changes in workforce planning

This session will share new research covering 500 companies which reveals:

  • The gap between aspirational retirement age and realistic retirement age.
  • Myth or reality: the effect older workers will have on productivity
  • How the ageing workforce impacts the business for each year of delayed retirement
  • What steps and tech we can use to tackle the problem and improve financial wellbeing around retirement
Phil Blows, Sales Director, Wealth Wizards
14:45 - 15:15
Partner insight session - Do EAP's have an image problem?

Employee Assistance Programmes offer services such as; confidential assessments, counselling, referrals to employees who have had work-related problems & call lines. EAP companies sell their package as a promise of lower medical costs, reduced staff turnover and absenteeism and high employee productivity. Big claims are made for the return on investment of employee wellbeing programmes, but how reliable is the evidence?
According to EAPA's Market watch report, average usage is about 10% of the workforce, and 16% is considered high usage for an EAP that offers online and telephone support. However providing a completely confidential service might help your employees overcome the culture of silence.

15:20 - 15:50
Tackling gender pay reporting

2018 is set to be a hugely challenging year for big employers, with issues such as worker status and the gender pay gap firmly in the spotlight. UK companies with 250 or more employees must publish their gender pay gap data by April 2018, some bigger firms who have already published their gender pay gap have become major talking points. However, gender pay gap reporting is not about equal pay it is about whether there is an overall gender pay gap which in some industries is likely to be stark. Ascertaining which staff are in-scope, and calculating weekly working hours and hourly rates of pay can be challenging, particularly when long-term absences and atypical working arrangements arise. Bonuses, share plans and flexible benefit schemes can also be complex areas to navigate.

15:50 - 16:15
Refreshments and networking

PORTER TUN EXHIBITION HALL

16:15 - 16:45
Rising AE contributions

Six years on from the launch of auto-enrolment in 2012, marks the final staging date for small and micro employers to enrol their staff into a workplace pension. The government's auto-enrolment policy has successfully enrolled a further nine million more people into occupational pensions with all employers legally required to comply with auto enrolment by 1 July 2018. From 6 April total minimum contributions to workplace pensions will rise to 5 per cent and then again to 8 per cent from 6 April 2019 onwards. This is going to have a massive impact on employers, particularly small employer who might cope with the additional cost of contributions by stopping or reducing salary increases. This session will look at the impact the increases might have on employers.

Charles Cotton, Performance and Reward Adviser, CIPD

16:50 - 17:20
CLOSING KEYNOTE: The Pensions Ombudsman

KING GEORGE

17:20 - 17:25
Chairman’s closing remarks - close of conference content day 1

Stephanie Baxter, Deputy Editor, Professional Pensions

17:25 - 18:15
Networking Drinks Reception

Exhibition Zone

Stream 4 - Wellbeing

LOWER SUGAR ROOM
12:40 - 13:10
Partner insight session - The hidden burden of debt

The financial wellness playbook 2018 report, which surveyed 205 UK employers, reported 66% of employer respondents predict that borrowing and managing debt will be the main financial wellness driver for 2018. As a nation, we're saving less and borrowing more. With one quarter estimated to have an income that fluctuates by more than 10% per month, managing the day-to-day finance can be a real challenge with younger staff battling student debt and record high housing prices. How can your wellbeing programme take this into consideration and encourage an open conversation surrounding their finances.

13:10 - 14:10
Lunch and networking break

PORTER TUN EXHIBITION HALL

14:10 - 15: 10
Workshop hour - How to measure the effectiveness of mental health strategies

Over 15 million working days were lost in 2016 due to mental health issues, according to research published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in March 2017. However, with mental health influenced by a broad range of factors, it is not easy to determine whether an improvement is due to an intervention or something completely different which makes measuring the return on investment for a mental health strategy difficult.

This workshop will discuss how data such as absence, turnover, productivity and benefits usage can give an indication of employee mental health and wellbeing. Also how Employers should offer as much choice as possible around mental health interventions and how best to consider different approaches for groups such as line managers or those in potentially traumatic situations.

15:20 - 15:50
Working carers and the ageing workforce

According to the Institute of Employment Studies there are currently 7.2m workers aged 50-64 and by 2020 one third of Britain's workforce will be aged over 50 which will place unique pressures on both employers and working carers. Too few employers are prepared for an increase among employees who will be working while caring as a result of the UK's ageing population. To meet the needs of an older working population, and more working carers, organisations such as The Health Insurance Group are advocating more flexibility in working practices and greater emphasis on creating a formal policy. However, caring is still a relatively hidden issue in many workplaces so this session will explore the benefits of addressing this agenda, both for working people and their employers, and how good practice can be more widely promoted and implemented.

Katherine Wilson, Head of Employers of Carers, Carers UK 

15:50 - 16:15
Refreshments and networking

PORTER TUN EXHIBITION HALL

16:15 - 16:45
CASE STUDY: Diversity in the workplace

Diversity has been a hot topic over last few years however the focus is often on gender, race and age. This session will focus on how employers can improve their inclusion, identifying potential barriers to inclusion within the culture of a company can be a significant challenge. Collaboration is needed internally to make sure your working environment is open to all.

Kieron O'Kelly, Member Engagement Manager, Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion

16:50 - 17:20
CLOSING KEYNOTE: The Pensions Ombudsman

KING GEORGE

17:20 - 17:25
Chairman’s closing remarks - close of conference content day 1

Stephanie Baxter, Deputy Editor, Professional Pensions

17:25 - 18:15
Networking Drinks Reception

Exhibition Zone

08:30
Registration opens

Delegates register and browse exhibition stands

09:15 - 09:20
Chairman’s introduction and welcome

Jonathan Stapleton, Editor-in-Chief of Professional Pensions & Workplace Savings and Benefits

KING GEORGE

09:20 - 09:50
KEYNOTE: An update from The Pensions Regulator

Lesley Titcomb, Chief Executive, The Pensions Regulator
KING GEORGE

9:50- 10:00

10 minutes to move between rooms

10:00 - 10:45
KEYNOTE PANEL: Pension Prophets

Jennie Kreser, Partner, Laytons LLP
Roger Mattingly, Director, PAN Trustees
Robin Ellison, Consultant, Pinsent Masons & Professor of Pensions Law and Economics, Cass Business School
Chair: Malcolm McLean, Consultant, Barnett Waddingham

KING GEORGE

KEYNOTE How can employers reduce presenteeism?

New research from Fellowes, based on responses from 4,000 employees and 500 business leaders across Europe, demonstrates that ‘presenteeism' is one of the biggest threats to UK workplace productivity. While having staff members who are willing to come into work when they are unwell shows dedication this will not do any good for their health or wellbeing. It also begs a questions about the culture of your company? To tackle this growing problem, employers must start to implement a longer-term, more preventative approach to unhealthy working practices, rather than falling back on tactical ‘quick-fixes'.

Patrick Woodman, Head of Research, Chartered Management Institute

QUEEN CHARLOTTE

10:45 - 11:15
Refreshments and networking break

PORTER TUN EXHIBITION HALL

Stream 1 - DB Schemes

KING GEORGE
11:15 - 11:45
Partner insight session -How Fiduciary Management can add value in times of heightened uncertainty

In the years following the financial crisis of 2008, asset returns have generally been supportive of pension scheme funding levels. However, more recently, market conditions have been less favourable. In this presentation Nigel Down explores how fiduciary management, as a governance solution, can equip trustees with the right tools to navigate through uncertain times and reach their long term goals.

Nigel Down, Director of Relationship Management, SEI

11:50 - 12:20
Partner insight session - How to successfully navigate the risk settlement markets

With the best annuity prices seen since the Credit Crunch available to well-prepared schemes and longevity reinsurance gradually relocated to reflect current trends, 2018 looks set to be another bumper year for risk transfer deals.
This session will help decision makers understand how to identify the right course of action for their own scheme and the optimal route to access capacity in a busy and increasingly global market.

Martin Bird, Head of Risk Settlement, Aon

12:20 - 13:15
Lunch and networking break

PORTER TUN EXHIBITION HALL

13:15 - 13:45
DB Invstment Panel

Investor confidence in Europe rose by 16.0 points in January with each region showing growing appetite for risk. Global equities have seen the best start of a new year in three decades. Stocks are hitting all-time highs, earnings forecasts are rising, and positive earnings surprises have outweighed disappointments across global markets. However, after a year of stellar equity returns, inflation poses the greatest threat to markets. As the global expansion reaches its tenth year, investors are worried 2018 will prove to be a turning point for markets. This panel will discuss if the global economy can sustain momentum in 2018 and the implications for DB investments.

Ian McKnight, CIO, Royal Mail Pension Scheme
Colin Richardson, Director, PTL
Mike Jaffe, Director, Law Debenture

13:50 - 14:20
PANEL: LGPS pooling

The Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) Pooling initiative was finalised in April. In less than three years, more than 80 local authority funds with combined assets of more than £250bn as of October 2017 will have collaborated successfully to create substantial asset pools with the scale to deliver better returns on their investments, significant cost savings and, as a result, more sustainable long-term benefits for pension scheme members. This panel will share what their experience has been in pooling assets, what obstacles they have had to overcome, and what the opportunities are going forward? What lessons can be learned for other pension schemes?

Joanne Segars, Non-Executive Chair, LGPS Central

14:25 - 14:55
Partner insight session - Cashflow Driven Investments

Many schemes are getting to the point where they are paying out more than they are receiving in contributions and are therefore becoming increasingly cashflow negative as they mature. Cashflow-driven investing aims to secure liquidity for payments while preserving the ability to generate return. This session will consider:

  • Contractual cashflows; finding other assets which can generate higher returns but with the same contractual cashflow characteristics.
  • Accessing global credit to achieve long term return goals.
  • Managing default risk -achieving the ‘holy grail'.

 

15:00 - 15:30
Guest speaker: Huw Edwards, Journalist and Broadcaster, BBC News
15:30
Chair: Jonathan Stapleton, Editor-in-Chief of Professional Pensions & Workplace Savings and Benefits

KING GEORGE

15:35
Chairman’s closing remarks and close of conference

Jonathan Stapleton, Editor-in-Chief of Professional Pensions & Workplace Savings and Benefits

Stream 2 - DC Schemes

QUEEN CHARLOTTE
11:15 - 11:45
Partner insight session -Let's talk!

How often do you consider the type of experience your members have when they engage with their pension? Breaking down your members to identify several groups where actions could be directed could be crucial in an effective engagement strategy. It is also important to look at where the gaps in communications are before taking action. This session will consider what the right communication strategy might look like; gamification might meet the needs of the tech-savvy generation of the workforce. However, other tranches might respond better to a more emotional approach - what motivates them security, power, family or freedom? It's time to get creative when considering member communication.

11:50 - 12:20
Partner insight session - Real assets in DC

DC schemes are lagging behind their DB counterparts in adopting real assets and integrating them into default funds. This can be explained by the absence of DC-friendly products that are daily dealing and low cost. Innovative new products are set to change that at a time when the outlook for both equities and bonds looks most uncertain, and the need for real assets has arguably never been greater. This session will consider the attributes of real assets which can be analysed on the basis of three key objectives - diversification, total returns and inflation sensitivity.

12:20 - 13:15
Lunch and networking break

PORTER TUN EXHIBITION HALL

13:15 - 13:45
PANEL: Auto Enrolment Review

The government announced in February of this year that Auto-enrolment (AE) has now brought on board its one millionth employer as the flagship programme reaches the end of its phased staging. Another 150,000 employers are due to come into the programme by June, with a total of more than 10 million employees predicted to benefit by the end of the year. With the AE review published last year the panel will discuss the recommendations.

  • Has auto-enrolment helped employees engage with their pensions?
  • How has the contribution increase from 2% to 5% from April 2018 affected employees, employers and providers?
  • What are the early lessons 

Chris Curry, Director, PPI

Nigel Peaple, Deputy Director for DC, Lifetime Savings & Research, PLSA

Sir Steve Webb, Director of Policy, Royal London

13:50 - 14:20
Partner insight sesion - Value for members

There are four key areas The Pensions Regulator expects trustees to consider when they assess value for members, including scheme management and governance, administration, investment governance and communications. Trustees are required to carry out a value for member assessment every year to help trustees identify and address poor-performing areas. This session will focus on the best way for Trustees to gage Value for Members looking at costs to members, value of the member engagement, communication available, and the flexibility members have providing examples of good practice.

14:25 - 14:55
CASE STUDY: Civil Service Pension Scheme

The Civil Service Pension Scheme covers over 300 employers, almost half a million active members and has Defined Benefit liabilities of £234 billion. Although the Defined Contribution assets are much smaller, they still amount to around £400 million across 20,000 members.In 2016 the Civil Service Pension Scheme decided to move 3 separate Defined Contribution schemes managed by 4 different providers to a single Mastertrust provider. The change will take place on 1 September 2018. This session will detail the challenges encountered with deciding to make the change, setting up and running the procurement exercise and then implementing the change across hundreds of employers and dozens of payrolls.

Kevin Hughes, Pension Technical, Strategy and Specialist Projects, Civil Service Pension Scheme
Cilla Christmas (Dip PFS), DC Delivery Manager, Civil Service Pension Scheme

15:00 - 15:30
Guest speaker: Huw Edwards, Journalist and Broadcaster, BBC News
15:30
Chair: Jonathan Stapleton, Editor-in-Chief of Professional Pensions & Workplace Savings and Benefits

KING GEORGE

15:35
Chairman’s closing remarks and close of conference

Jonathan Stapleton, Editor-in-Chief of Professional Pensions & Workplace Savings and Benefits

Stream 3 - Benefits & Reward

JAMES WATT
11:15 - 11:45
Benefits & Reward 2025

Organisations seem to be taking a short term view in the face of legislative, societal and increasingly flexible working practices when it comes to reward. Difficulties in recruitment and retention, low motivation, poor productivity and absence levels are still fundamental problems. This session will look at:

  • Analysing your workforce and using data to help set pay strategy.
  • Understanding how to use combined data from your HR and benefits systems to make best use of your benefits budget.
  • Monitoring the effectiveness of your reward approach and identifying ways in which it can be improved.

Dr Peter Bloom, Head of the Department of People and Organisations, Open University Business School

11:50 - 12:20
Partner insight session - Financial education on a budget

Providing financial support as part of your benefits offering is paramount as more choice at retirement could lead to more confusion. Employees are looking to their employer for support through holistic financial education programmes covering pensions, employee benefits and personal finances. While many employers want to provide this, tightening budgets can make this difficult especially as many are dealing with a multi-generational workforce, which widens the scope of financial pressures that could impact staff. This session will look at how you can make the most of new technology moving on from a traditional classroom-based approach to help you spread your budget.

Robert Cochran, Senior Workplace Pensions Specialist, Scottish Widows

12:20 - 13:15
Lunch and networking break

PORTER TUN EXHIBITION HALL

13:15 - 13:45
The digital future

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) argued that digitisation of the economy and workforce would lead to higher national productivity, suggesting GDP could be 10% higher by 2030 as a direct consequence. This has led to a debate over the redistribution of wealth gained from productivity improvements as robots and artificial intelligence (AI) could let us produce more for less, boosting national prosperity. In theory these developments should allow people to remain economically active, work in less stressful and physically demanding jobs for longer, and give people more flexibility in how and when they wish to retire. This session will consider how AI might impact our working lives and retirement.

13:50 - 14:20
Bridging the advice gap

Understanding the barriers around what an employer can say without tripping into advice and how these may be further clarified. In the Government's second Finance Bill 2017, a new income tax exemption to cover the first £500 worth of pensions advice provided to an employee was introduced. This will allow advice not only on pensions, but also on the general financial and tax issues relating to retirement for employees.

14:25 - 14:55
Briging reward into the spotlight

Employee benefits can end up being little more than a hygiene factor. Pension; life insurance; income protection are all provided because you are legally obliged to, maybe because you've always done so, or because your competitors do so. Though employee benefits are seen to be low level, due to poor employee engagement, spend on them is anything but with organisations spending an average of 24% of payroll costs on benefits. The question often asked by CFOs and CEOs is how are you maximising return on investment. This session will consider how you can move employee benefits up your strategic agenda. Ever-increasing demands on budgets means continuous evaluating your spend on benefits, undertaking reviews of the market, competitors' offering, and evolving your own package could help to maximise ROI.

Dr Duncan Brown, Head of HR Consultancy, Institute for Employment Studies

15:00 - 15:30
Guest speaker: Huw Edwards, Journalist and Broadcaster, BBC News
15:30
Chair: Jonathan Stapleton, Editor-in-Chief of Professional Pensions & Workplace Savings and Benefits

KING GEORGE

15:35
Chairman’s closing remarks and close of conference

Jonathan Stapleton, Editor-in-Chief of Professional Pensions & Workplace Savings and Benefits

Stream 4 - Pensions & Benefits

LOWER SUGAR ROOM
11:15 - 11:45
Partner insight session - GDPR - Time's up!

As approaches to compliance and remedial spending varied widely in the lead up to the GDPR deadline there appeared to be no correlation between organization size and spend, nor any clear trends in different industry segments. A month after the implantation of GDPR this session will look at how employers are coping and any early problems you might have encountered:

  • Consent
  • Right to erasure
  • Developing and maintaining a personal data register
  • The accountability principle
  • Data portability

Target Professional Services

11:50 - 12:20
PANEL: Trusteeship and governance

The Pensions Regulator is handing out record fines over trustee failures to complete basic governance duties such as scheme returns and DC chair's statements. Even big professional trustee firms have been fined. Why is this happening, is there a problem with the trustee model, and how can trustees make sure they don't fall foul of the regulator?

Nicola Parish, Executive Director of Frontline Regulation, The Pensions Regulator

12:20 - 13:15
Lunch and networking break

PORTER TUN EXHIBITION HALL

13:15 - 13:45
Blockchain the new and unknown for pensions

Blockchain is a way for connected parties to instantly share the same information via a secure network and where amendment is only possible through agreed network rules. Blockchain has the potential to reach all areas of pensions; it could be used to ensure administrators and advisers use the same version of the scheme rules, make safer transfers of assets between fund managers, show statements or pay transfers and other benefits, collect pension contributions or update individual member records. It could also revolutionise the way data is stored making it much safer to handle sensitive data such as health records for medical underwriting of benefits, or report to regulators. However, in the same breath although cyber-attack is harder, a successful hack could be catastrophic.

Joep Beukers, Director of Innovation, APG

13:50 - 14:20
The Pensions dashboard – saving grace or a white elephant?

The Pensions Dashboard is fast becoming a reality since changing hands from HMRC to the DWP however we still have a long way to go. This session will discuss the DWP's feasibility study on the dashboard and what pension schemes need to know ahead of the dashboard due to come into force in 2019?

Julie Gillis, Director, Department for Work and Pensions

14:25 - 14:55
Partner insight session - Are more transfers a blessing or a curse

The number of DB to DC transfers has increased substantially since the introduction of freedom and choice. According to The Pensions Regulator, there were around 80,000 transfers out of DB schemes in the year ending 31 March 2017. The demand is being driven by record transfer values, which can typically be 20 to 25 times the size of the annual pension forgone. Schemes are increasingly advising members of the option to transfer with some even providing quotations but with the Financial Conduct Authority currently reviewing the market following concerns of another 1980s pension mis-selling scandal making sure the right members transfer is crucial. Members transferring out of DB schemes can represent a win-win, by helping members secure more appropriate income in retirement and also removing risk from the DB scheme.

15:00 - 15:30
Guest speaker: Huw Edwards, Journalist and Broadcaster, BBC News
15:30
Chair: Jonathan Stapleton, Editor-in-Chief of Professional Pensions & Workplace Savings and Benefits

KING GEORGE

15:35
Chairman’s closing remarks and close of conference

Jonathan Stapleton, Editor-in-Chief of Professional Pensions & Workplace Savings and Benefits

*please note this programme is subject to change