Programme List - Pensions and Benefits UK 2019
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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: Charles Counsell, CEO, The Pensions Regulator

KING GEORGE

10:10 - 10:35
KEYNOTE: Edwin Schooling Latter, Director of Market Policy, FCA

KING GEORGE

10:35 - 10:45
10 minutes to move between rooms
10:45 - 11:20
KEYNOTE PANEL: DC portfolio management

KING GEORGE

KEYNOTE PANEL: Re-thinking reward

The employee benefits world is being disrupted like never before. Product innovation, technology and regulation are all changing and this rapid evolution means employers and employees can embrace the changes and get the best possible deal from their suppliers. Could the relentless pace of change in benefits disrupt the traditional broker-driven model? There is a real opportunity here to embrace a three-way partnership of employer, broker and benefit provider that is focused on doing the very best thing for employees. Are benefit and reward professionals truly getting a view of the market as a whole and taking full advantage of the new reward landscape?

QUEEN CHARLOTTE

11:20- 11:50
Refreshments and networking break

PORTER TUN EXHIBITION HALL

11:50- 12:30
KEYNOTE: Pension Prophets

Roger Mattingly, Managing Director, PAN Trustees Limited
Robin Ellison, Consultant, Pinsent Masons & Professor of Pensions Law and Economics, Cass Business School
Jennie Kreser, Partner, Laytons LLP

Chair: Malcolm McLean, Senior Consultant, Barnett Waddingham

 

BENEFITS KEYNOTE: To be confirmed

QUEEN CHARLOTTE

Stream 1 - DB Schemes

KING GEORGE
12:40 - 13:10
CMA Review

The CMA published its final report at the end of 2018 which outlined a series of recommendations to combat what the competition watchdog considered "an adverse effect on competition from which substantial consumer detriment may be expected". Among these was a requirement for fiduciary management mandates for 20% or more of a scheme's assets to be subject to mandatory tendering at the first instance - including those with existing mandates.

This session will outline what the tendering process will look like and if this measure will have an effect on the competition of the industry.

13:10 - 14:10
Lunch and networking break

PORTER TUN EXHIBITION HALL

14:10 - 14:40
Partner insight session - DB Funding challenge

The aggregate accounting deficit of all UK private sector defined benefit pension schemes has shown a modest improvement over the year, according to research, falling to £107bn at December 31 2018 from £119bn a year earlier. However, the IAS19 funding position remains unchanged at 93 per cent. So what was the outcome of 2018? Markets were initially strong in the face of considerable political uncertainty and signs emerged that interest rates were at last on the way up. However, there is no sign yet of an unwinding of the Bank of England's position on quantitative easing. This session will explore ways in which pension schemes can address the funding conundrum looking at new and alternative asset classes.

14:45- 15:15
Partner insight session -Return of the buyout

The bulk annuity market is set to grow to historically high levels in 2019 with £30bn worth of deals expected over the year, according to research from Willis Towers Watson. 2018 saw the largest transfer of liabilities from schemes to insurers, with predictions of circa £18bn to £20bn and the largest deal ever of £4.4bn. This seems to be a result of insurers now having a better understanding of what assets work best in a post-Solvency II world, which has led to the price of full buyouts falling, making them more appealing than previously. This session will look at the current landscape for buyouts and what schemes can do to improve their chances of completing a successful buyout.

15:20 - 15:50
PANEL: DB Consolidation

Consolidation was the buzz word in 2018, and 2019 is looking like the highly anticipated sequel. The PPF's Purple Book reveals that of the 5,450 DB schemes listed, 36% have less than 100 members and another 44% have less than 1,000 members. TPR has repeatedly highlighted the regulatory challenge posed by small DB schemes, and consolidation was a key focus of the DWP's recent DB White Paper. In this session our expert panel will discuss the pros and cons of consolidation, and ask what is the best format for consolidation?

15:50 - 16:15
Refreshments and networking

PORTER TUN EXHIBITION HALL

16:15 - 16:45
Partner insight session - GMP Equalisation

Following the landmark ruling by the High Court in October last year mandating defined benefit (DB) schemes must equalise GMP benefits for men and women. However, the GMP equlisation process is hardly simple and even the process for undertaking it is split within the industry. This session will address the next steps for GMP equalisation and how schemes have been caught out.

16:50 - 17:20
CLOSING KEYNOTE: To be announced!

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 - Getting the horse to drink...

A huge challenge facing DC schemes is to engage members with their savings, to help them consider the adequacy of their contributions and to ensure members are receiving the best possible value for money and are getting good outcomes. How are the younger ‘millennial' generation saving, do they need to be engaged in a different way? This session will tackle these questions and ask what the pensions industry can learn from other industries on how to engage customers and members.

13:10 - 14:10
Lunch and networking break

PORTER TUN EXHIBITION HALL

14:10 - 14:40
PANEL: CDC

CDC is still one of the hottest topics of the year,
This panel will discuss:

 

  • Is there a minimum membership size for CDC scheme below which a scheme could not be viewed as having sufficient scale to effectively pool longevity risk to the benefit of the membership?
  • Should there be any further Trustee requirements or knowledge?
  • How can schemes best communicate with members to ensure they understand the risk that their benefits could go down as well as up, even when in payment?
  • Do you agree that CDC benefits should be subject to a similar cap to the automatic enrolment charge cap?

 

14:45- 15:15
Partner insight sesison -  Master Trust consolidation

Due to Master Trust authorisation all the current signs indicate that in the future there will be significantly fewer defined contribution master trusts. There is already evidence of consolidation and a strong likelihood that a number of current mastertrusts will not apply for, or fail to get, authorisation after October 1 2018. Given the new and harsher regulatory environment, it is expected that more of the smaller mastertrusts will be looking to be 'consolidated'. Governance of small and micro schemes are of most concern, where there may be neither the skills nor the resources to ensure good governance and achieve good member outcomes. From April 6 2018 new regulations will DC to DC bulk transfers will be possible where either the receiving scheme is an authorised mastertrust; the transferring and receiving employers are associated undertakings, and the members are current or former employees; or prescribed independent advice conditions are met. This session will give an overview of the current Master Trust markets and how small scale DC schemes can benefit from the larger scale Master Trusts offer.

15:20 - 15:50
Partner insight session - Default retirement pathways

Three years after Freedom and Choice, it is no surprise that industry commentators are concerned that retirees are not choosing a retirement income product optimal for their needs. The Pensions Policy Institute has recommended that the industry introduce default decummulation pathways, they believe default approaches could at least get them on the right track. However, such an approach does come with a risk. If the default ends up with savers running out of money too early, trustees and providers could face the blame. With the possibility of savers outliving their pots becoming increasingly likely this session will consider if default decummulation pathways could prove to be a better alternative to the current one-size-fits-all default.

15:50 - 16:15
Refreshments and networking

PORTER TUN EXHIBITION HALL

16:15 - 16:45
PANEL: Auto enrolment second phase

Auto-enrolment (AE) has been a huge policy success and there are now over 10 million more people saving into a workplace pension as a result.
Contributions are going up too. AE minimum contribution rates rose to 5% in April this year with little impact on opt-outs and will increase further to 8% in April 2019.

  • How much do you believe the 2019 auto-enrolment contribution rate rise will increase opt-out rates?
  • Is 8% adequate?
  • Is engagement the right route for a system whose success has been built on inertia?

 

16:50 - 17:20
CLOSING KEYNOTE: To be announced

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
Partner insight session: The rise of AI

The future of work will be driven by artificial intelligence, IBM predicts that 120 million workers in the world's 10 largest economies will need to be reskilled in the next few years to adapt to an AI-driven marketplace. However, a global study by Harris Insights in found that while more than 80 percent of employees in the U.S. and UK believe having AI skills will be a competitive advantage for their companies, 42 percent said they don't believe their HR departments can execute it. So are you ready? This session will look at gearing up for an AI reskilling evolution including:

  • Improving your data fluency
  • Exploring AI-driven training platforms

 

13:10 - 14:10
Lunch and networking break

PORTER TUN EXHIBITION HALL

14:10 - 14:40
TBC
14:45 - 15:15
Engagement for millennials

Millennials have been singled out in the last couple of years as a new "breed" of workers, they want instant gratification, expect a certain level of flexibility and technology in the workplace but are they really so different when it comes to engagement? Unfortunately, research shows that millennials experience greater incidence of workplace stress and are less likely to seek support through traditional channels like EAP's. Companies need to prove their authenticity offering, personalised and targeted services as standard and choice, rather than a one-size-fits-all is key to engaging millennials.

15:20 - 15:50
Rewards & benefits tech for the future

Data is king in an environment where most organisations already possess the information that can reveal how rewards programs affect job-offer acceptances, turnover, engagement levels and productivity. There is progress toward real-time labour market pricing using artificial intelligence (AI) systems that can analyse pay data from crowdsourcing sites such as Glassdoor, and government-labour and salary-survey data. Analysing individual motivations can lead to customized delivery of pay and rewards and help to place employees in positions that best match their desires and abilities with the employer's needs. In the near future, AI will lead to job descriptions that write themselves.

15:50 - 16:15
Refreshments and networking

PORTER TUN EXHIBITION HALL

16:15 - 16:45
TBC
16:50 - 17:20
CLOSING KEYNOTE: To be announced

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 - How to build a resilient workplace

45% of employees finding stressful periods at work reducing the quality of their work and negatively impacting their relationships with family and friends, how can organisations help their staff be more resilient and ‘fit' for work. HR professions hold the key to unlocking the potential for a much wider and more sustainable integration of health and well-being practices at work. This session will explore ways to build workplace resilience including; promoting a healthy psychological environment, Promoting open communication and strong social networks and how leadership, management and culture can be key.

13:10 - 14:10
Lunch and networking break

PORTER TUN EXHIBITION HALL

14:10 -15:10
Workshop hour - returning to work
15:20 - 15:50
How to tackle long term sickness

A health and work survey 2018, carried out by manufacturers' organisation EEF, in association with insurance provider Howden, found that while just under a third of organisations identify work-related sickness absence levels, almost two-fifths do not. While there appears to be a lack of monitoring sickness, findings from Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) and LCP, revealed that nearly three in 10 employers are likely to increase investment in their health and wellbeing benefits in the next two years, notably around occupational sick pay, employee assistance programmes and flu jabs. This session will analyse the impact long-term sickness can have on organisations and identify potential solutions such as time off for medical appointments, occupational health services and an update on the ‘Fit for Work' service.

15:50 - 16:15
Refreshments and networking

PORTER TUN EXHIBITION HALL

16:15 - 16:45
Are your workers really ‘turning off'?

Technology has allowed the ‘workplace' to be anywhere and anytime which can be a real asset to both employers and employees but are your workforce ever really turned off? Companies can be fostering a culture of taking your work home with you through providing laptops, work mobiles and according to research by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), published in January 2018, 59% of the 1,037 managers surveyed consistently check their emails outside of normal working hours, adding an estimated 44 working days to schedules per year. The consideration for employers is do you enforce disconnection or fully embrace workplace flexibility and hours.

16:50 - 17:20
CLOSING KEYNOTE: To be announced

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: Simon Jack

BBC Business Editor

KING GEORGE

10:00 - 10:30
KEYNOTE: Guy Opperman MP, Minister for Pensions

 

KING GEORGE

10:45 - 11:15
Refreshments and networking break

PORTER TUN EXHIBITION HALL

Stream 1 - Investment

KING GEORGE
11:15 - 11:45
Partner insight session: ESG - Fireside chat

ESG is no longer just a nice to have but a must have with some large schemes going further and considering impact investing, This session will provide pensions schemes with a platform to ask an asset manager those all important questions when it comes to ESG like:

  • How would portfolio allocations have differed over the past few years if ESG hadn't been factored into the investment decision-making process?
  • What are some examples of your engagement with companies on ESG issues?

 

11:50 - 12:20
Partner insight session - Fixed income during uncertain times

Fixed income allocations are changing at an accelerating rate as DB pension schemes tackle the shift to becoming cashflow negative, while dealing with low yields and an uncertain credit outlook. Cashflow-driven investing (CDI) has emerged as one approach available to schemes - and is touted as being of particular use to schemes that have become cashflow negative. The bond mix can include gilts, investment grade credit as well as high-yield debt, however there are question marks over the demand/supply imbalance. This session will consider the perks and pitfalls of CDI investing.

12:20 - 13:15
Lunch and networking break

PORTER TUN EXHIBITION HALL

13:15 - 13:45
PANEL: Cost Transparency

We are not at the end of the transaction cost and transparency story or even at the beginning of the end. It is now a year since the introduction of new Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulations on transaction cost disclosure for workplace pensions. Although there has been good progress in obtaining data, uncertainty remains over the consistency and value of it.
This panel will discuss the findings of the PLSA's Cost Transparency Initiative and what the future holds for further cost transparency in both the DB and DC markets.

13:50 - 14:20
Partner insight session: Illiquid investment for DC schemes

Earlier this year the government urged smaller defined contribution pension schemes to merge in order for them to take advantage of a broader range of illiquid investment opportunities. The consultation, Investment Innovation and Future Consolidation, looks to pave the way for billions of pounds of DC pensions money to fund fast-growing British technology companies. Furthermore, the government said that larger pension schemes should be required to set out their policy in relation to illiquid investments, in order to "stimulate trustees' appetite" for wider investment opportunities. This session will consider to what extent DC schemes can invest in illiquid assets.

14:25 - 14:55
Partner insight session - Multi Asset Solutions: What does it mean?

The European multi asset marketing is diverse and hard to define. It encompasses £1.6tn in assets, more than 9,800 funds and thousands of segregated mandates. Multi-asset funds range from long-only balanced funds, through to solutions and absolute return multi-factor strategies. However, as no two multi-asset funds have the same underlying investments, how should pension schemes select the right match for their scheme?

15:00 - 15:30
Guest speaker: To be announced

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

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

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

Stream 2 - Governance

QUEEN CHARLOTTE
11:15 - 11:45
Partner insight session -Decision making - Hare or rabbit?

One of the reasons often cited for moving to Fiduciary Management is to be able to make investment decisions, more quickly. Pension schemes are often faced with situations that academics would categorise as fundamental uncertainty; where there are no simple relationships or clear answers available. This can mean if real data is insufficient, we tend to extrapolate our knowledge and the narrative becomes more of a belief than an accurate mental model of reality. This session will consider group thinking and how to de-bias your decision making.

11:50 - 12:20
Master Trust authorisation

Unless you've been living under a rock you will know all about the master trust authorisation story that has had the sector on its toes over the last year. Schemes were given from the beginning of October 2018 until the end of March 2019 to apply for authorisation with TPR. If they didn't, they faced having to wind up and subsequently transfer members to a separate authorised scheme. The regulation inevitably caused further consolidation throughout the sector, and this session will look at this consequence of the regulation, among many others.

12:20 - 13:15
Lunch and networking break

PORTER TUN EXHIBITION HALL

13:15 - 13:45
PANEL: Independent Trustee Model

 

  • Should each pension scheme be required to have a professional trustee on their board?
  • Where sole trustees are appointed by the sponsoring employer, do you think those trustees can robustly challenge the employer in funding valuations?

 

13:50 - 14:20
Partner insight session - Integrated Risk Management

Since The Pensions Regulator (TPR) released guidance on integrated risk management at the end of 2015, schemes should have been ensuring they have a risk management approach that is fully integrated. IRM can provide a positive outcome by providing trustees with a much better understanding of the risks within their scheme. This session will look at the best strategy for your IRM, how best to analyse your scheme funding, investment strategy and sponsor covenant.

14:25 - 14:55
Are we approaching a watershed for pension administration?

A growing concern for many pension schemes is administration, some are complaining of a capacity crunch. The difficulty in running a profitable DB admin business has seen some providers rationalise their service offering, closing sites and redistributing resource. This, added to recent consolidation among administrators, has contributed to a lack of capacity, restricting choice and making it very difficult for a scheme that feels it isn't getting the service it wants to find an alternative. This session will look at what the future holds for pension administration and how to get a gold standard service.

15:00 - 15:30
Guest speaker: To be announced!
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
CASE STUDY: Pre-Boarding engagement

Most of today's employers have made improving employee engagement levels a priority, unfortunately the majority of employers are failing to make any real difference in their employee engagement levels. The key to improving employee engagement is to start the process as early as possible. Pre-boarding helps foster enhanced employee engagement faster and more efficiently and can help save employers both time and money. The onboarding process should include a checklist, so the new employees can easily see what steps they have completed and what still needs to be done. Pre-boarding materials should highlight the company's employer brand message and EVP (Employer Value Proposition) which will help foster loyalty with your new employees especially millennials.

11:50 - 12:20
Partner insight session - Future of total reward

The working environment has changed, increasing dominance of Generation Y and Z in the workforce has created a demand for flexible and innovative arrangements from their work and are less committed to one employer over the long term.
Total reward is all about looking at the big picture; looking at everything employees would value about working for your business, meaning you have the best chance of attracting and retaining talent in a fast-paced and competitive marketplace. A lot of this doesn't need a big budget but some core things to focus on; recognition of your workforce, rewarding work and personal development, working culture and communication.

12:20 - 13:15
Lunch and networking break

PORTER TUN EXHIBITION HALL

13:15 - 14:15
Getting healthy with your workplace: case study and workshop session
14:25 - 14:55
How can employers use reward and benefits to address sustainability?

Employees are increasingly seeking to enforce change in support of sustainability, and are looking to their employers to help them action these ambitions. Research by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), published in December 2018, found that 66% of employees would support a bonus incentive scheme to help cut carbon emissions, while 57% feel that their employer is not doing enough to involve them in reducing the business' carbon footprint. Increased staff motivation and retention can also result from efforts to address sustainability, particularly if they align with employees' personal values. A reward and recognition programme which focuses on creating intrinsic rewards, such as the feeling of satisfaction at having been part of something meaningful, can help to embed positive behaviours into day-to-day life.

15:00 - 15:30
Guest speaker: To be announced!
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 - Financial Education on a budget

As the retirement scene becomes increasingly complex, the road for long-term savers becomes ever more difficult to navigate. Furthermore, employers are becoming more and more involved in their employees' long-term financial plans as initiatives like auto-enrolment bring them further into the frame. As a result, people are looking to employers for holistic financial education programmes that cover not only pensions, but employee benefits and other personal finance issues too. While many employers want to help their multi-generational workforces with these issues, squeezed budgets can make this a tough task.

This session will look at how you can make the most of new technology and emerging free guidance support services to help you allocate your benefits budget accordingly.

11:50 - 12:20
PANEL: 21st century Trustees

What does a 21st century Trustee look like? Over the last few years there has been a focus on diverse trustee boards as research as highlighted this results in better decision making. Whilst there has been some progress, many pension fund trustee boards and the top levels of executive teams lack diversity. While gender diversity has been an obvious place to start, the industry is lacking younger representation to harness the power of cognitive diversity - the diversity of thought and opinion. This session will discuss how we can engage younger generations in Trusteeship, the language of pensions and greater diversity on Trustee boards.

12:20 - 13:15
Lunch and networking break

PORTER TUN EXHIBITION HALL

13:15 - 13:45
Are you in danger of reaching the LTA?

The tax collected from individuals breaching the lifetime allowance (LTA) has rocketed, the latest figures show that £110m in tax was collected from individuals exceeding the allowance during 2016/17, compared with less than £10m in 2006/7 when the lifetime allowance (LTA) was introduced.
This is now a significant consideration for members when considering transferring out, many don't consider that their pots will exceed the current LTA limit of £1.03 million or more however transfer values offered can be much higher than the standard method of working out the LTA value. For example, transfer values can be as high as forty times the annual pension meaning a rather modest pension pot is in danger of being taxed. This session will consider the stumbling blocks for both members and schemes when considering transfers.

13:50 - 14:20
Will it finally be RIP for RPI?

The Lords Economic Affairs Committee have published a report on measuring inflation, they recommend a move to a single general measure of inflation to prevent ‘inflation shopping'. The Retail Prices Index (RPI) was the main UK inflation dating back to the 1940s. The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) is required by EU regulations, and is the basis of the Bank of England's (BOE) inflation target. RPI is used by a significant number of index-linked gilts, around £435 billion
nominal at the start of February 2019, the longest dated of which matures in 2068. Pension scheme financing could be crucially impacted by changes to the inflation measures used to revalue benefits or calculate payments delivered by inflation linked assets. This session will help explain what changes might happen and the extent (if any) to which they are priced into markets and/or existing assumptions.

14:25 - 14:55
What can pensions learn from open banking?

The pension dashboard could be pioneering, allowing savers to view and manage their retirement savings in a simple platform. Putting information into the hands of savers is crucial, this session will discuss:

  • What are the greatest opportunities for pensions, savings and investments?
  • How can the mindset of a traditional industry be shifted?
  • Is the industry prepared for integration with the pensions dashboard?

 

15:00 - 15:30

Guest speaker: To be announced

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