Welcome to Professional Pensions Live 2021

14 September 2021 | The Brewery, London & Online

'Staged in London, accessible from anywhere'

After a volatile year and a half, the pensions industry might have fared better than we expected but have we really felt the full impact of the pandemic? With furlough schemes propping up many businesses there could still be a bumpy road ahead. Over the next year Trustees will have to tackle a new funding regime, the impact of the Pension Schemes Act, the ever increasing need for better governance while still trying to provide good member outcomes.

Professional Pensions is returning with Professional Pensions Live, our flagship event and industry staple, on the 14th September. This year we are hoping to bring you the best the event has to offer using our digital expertise over the last 18 months, and our long history of bringing you the best in person events, to arm you with the information and insight you need to develop practical solutions to the on-going challenges you face.

Professional Pensions Live will be hosted at The Brewery following the government’s Covid-19 guidelines for a safe and successful event. We will follow industry best practice to make sure that all delegates are aware of our requirements before attending. Like most of you, we are extremely excited at the prospect of seeing everyone in person again, however for anyone who can’t attend we will also be offering a digital event. You will be able to view the content, network and visit our exhibitor stands from the comfort of your home. All our content will also be available on demand whether you attended in person or virtually increasing the opportunity of obtaining CPD hours.

This event is working towards the International Standard ISO 20121 and follows guidance set out by the Sustainable Event Alliance (SEA)

Live & digital delegates
Expert speakers


Professional Pensions Live is specifically researched and developed for in-house pension and benefit scheme representatives. Please refer to the full description below. It will be of particular benefit to professionals with the following job functions:

Chair of Trustees
Heads of Pensions/Benefits
Pensions Admin Managers
Pension Scheme Directors/Managers
Benefits Managers
Company Secretaries
HR Directors/Managers

If you do not meet the criteria above, we do offer limited paid delegate passes which you can find more information about and purchase using this link. More information about delegate criteria can be found here.

Time until the event

Register Socially

Looking forward to catching up with peers in September? Register with your social media to:

- see who's attending PP Live

- invite your friends and contacts with a click of a button

- share your attendance with your social network

- connect with others ahead of the event


Browse the exhibition hall and catch up with your peers

Registration opens for delegates register or log in. Take the time to network and browse the exhibition area


Jonathon Stapleton, Editor, Professional Pensions

Opening keynote address

Charles Counsell OBE, Chief Executive, The Pensions Regulator

Keynote: Guy Opperman MP

Guy Opperman MP, Minister for Pensions and Financial Inclusion, Department for Work and Pensions

Refreshment and networking break
Please use this time to browse our exhibition area, grab a coffee and a bite to eat.
Keynote panel: Longevity- how will post Covid-19 affect this?

Nicola Oliver, Director of Life and Health, Medical Intelligence
Josephine Robertson, Associate Director of Actuarial, Optum
Chair: Jonathon Stapleton, Editor, Professional Pensions

Keynote: Pensions dashboard
What do schemes need to do to be dashboard ready?

Chris Curry, Principal of the Pensions Dashboards Programme, Money and Pensions Service

Time to pick a stream!

Please now select one of our four streams available

Stream 1 - DB Schemes

Partner insight session: An update on Fiduciary Management

Fiduciary Management providers often state one of the big benefits is the ability to act quickly to volatile markets. After one of the most volatile years since the financial crash how did the different FM providers fare during 2020?

  • Have their hedging strategies helped to protect their clients?
  • Has the re-tendering of fiduciary manager mandates changed the market?

Sion Cole, Managing Director, BlackRock

Lunch and networking

Please use this time to browse our exhibition area and enjoy a tasty lunch

Partner insight session: GMP Equalisation: Let’s do it!

On 26 October 2018, the High Court judgment on the Lloyds case confirmed the need to improve benefits to make allowance for the inequality between males and females in guaranteed minimum pensions (GMPs) - known as GMP equalisation. For most trustees, data is the biggest obstacle to getting GMP equalisation done. Reviewing data that is not needed is ultimately a waste of time and cost. This session will consider the practical implications of GMP equalisation. What now? Which data and what is needed to get to the end point.

Chair: Amanda Banister, Senior Professional Trustee, Dalriada

5 minutes to move between streams
Partner insight session: How can pension schemes enhance their returns?

In the last few years, defined benefit pension schemes have increasingly come under strain from widening deficits as a result of increased member longevity as well as lower returns from volatile performance of traditional asset classes. Investing only in equities and fixed income also means that schemes’ portfolios may not be as diversified as they can be. Pension schemes that want greater diversification, and the potential for higher return, look to alternative investments to solve both of these issues. However the illiquid nature of much of this asset class causes friction as it rubs up against schemes’ needs for cash flow as they become more mature. This session will walk you through the process of customised stress testing and liquidity analysis, so each scheme can truly understand its potential to allocate a greater percentage to alternative investments, enhancing their portfolio’s return.


    Afternoon break
    CASE STUDY: Church of England

    Session synopsis TBC

    Adam Matthews, Chief Responsible Investment Officer, Church of England Pensions Board

    5 minutes to move between streams
    Partner insight session: Hedging in unprecedented markets

    The word "unprecedented" has never before been used so often in the financial context. Hedging activity has seen a huge increase with many pension schemes significantly heightened their interest rate and inflation risk hedging in the second quarter of 2020. This session will look at where hedging strategies paid off in 2020 and how to combine different hedging and financing strategies, allowing for flexibility and the ability to adapt to the market and volatile environments.

    River & Mercantile

    Stream 2 - DC Schemes

    Partner insight session: DC Charge cap innovation

    Plans to encourage DC schemes to invest in high-growth companies more easily under the auto-enrolment charge cap of 0.75% are the focus of the second consultation the DWP has opened. This session will consider if charge cap compliance is a barrier to investment in a broader range of alternatives, and how schemes can offer good choice to members.

    Chair: Alyshia Harrington-Clark, Head of DC, Master Trusts and Lifetime Savings, PLSA

    Lunch and networking

    Please use this time to browse our exhibition area and enjoy a tasty lunch

    Partner insight session: Biggest Issues, Do Master Trusts Solve Them All?
    Regulatory pressures on smaller DC schemes are expected to accelerate the consolidation trend. Many schemes will have to either wind up the scheme or identify the improvements they plan to make to the scheme to keep it open. This session will go through what types of schemes are least/best suited to a Master Trust, how to pick a provider and the wind-up process.

    Mark Futcher, Partner and Head of DC, Employee Consulting, Barnett Waddingham
    Chair: Jenny Davidson, Trustee Executive, BESTrustees

    5 minutes to move between streams
    Partner insight session: ESG in DC – Answering your questions
    • What does clear visibility on the ESG credentials of the fund look like?
    • How far away is a developing common standards/frameworks for measuring ESG performance?
    • How a default fund should look like going forward that has incorporated ESG
    • What are the asset classes available apart from equities?
    Afternoon break
    PANEL: Collective DC – Has this model got legs?

    Provisions for the establishment of Collective Defined Contribution (CDC) schemes are outlined in the Pension Schemes Act 2021 with the Treasury having published its draft tax legislation for their enablement last July - expected to be effective from 6 April. However, there are still many question marks over the payments of benefits, cost of consultancy fees and it being an untried and untested concept. This panel will discuss predicted returns for members on a CDC scheme compared with a tradition DC and the practicalities of setting up a CDC.

    Jon Millidge MBE, Director of Pension Reform, Royal Mail Group
    Terry Pullinger, Deputy General Secretary Postal, Communication Workers Union

    5 minutes to move between streams
    Partner insight session: Focus on value

    You can’t have a conversation about DC pensions without discussing value for money, but have we ever really agreed on a definition. The recent FCA proposals in its value for money consultation raised many questions from the industry, challenging how realistic it is to compare value for money. This session will consider bench marking, comparing fees on tailored default funds and ultimately is good value just delivering good member outcomes whatever the cost?

    Stream 3 - Governance

    Partner Insight session: Reviewing the support at retirement to members

    Retirement is complex and even before the pandemic the thought of retiring at 65 was fast receding. With the FCA cracking down on DB transfers it has become harder to access good quality IFA’s, coupled with more sophisticated scams, is it time for Trustees to consider providing more support and what would this look like? This session will consider bridging the advice gap and how to improve member communications at retirement.

    Chair: Becky Wood, Trustee Director, 20-20 Trustees

    Lunch and networking

    Please use this time to browse our exhibition area and enjoy a tasty lunch

    Partner insight session: Journey planning – where and what next?

    The pensions industry has fared surprisingly well over the last year, but is the real impact still to come? The unprecedented pressure on sponsoring employers may be hiding the reality that some journey plans are not as robust as may have been anticipated. There is also increased focus from The Pensions Regulator on the future governance of pension schemes, potentially resulting in more regulatory burden and increased workloads for trustees.

    • Is your employer sustainable?
    • Do we expect to see the journey plans of schemes changing?
    • Are you prepared for what lies ahead?

    Ali Tayyebi, Partner, Actuarial Consulting, Barnett Waddingham
    Barbara-Ann Thompson, Partner, Actuarial Consulting, Barnett Waddingham

    5 minutes to move between streams
    PANEL: The future of Trustee governance

    The requirements for a pension’s trustee are rapidly changing year on year. This panel will look at:

    • Recruitment process for Trustees
    • Increasing diversity
    • Compliance of professional standard – accreditation
    • Skills for lay trustees

    Mandy Kaur-Sadler, Trustee Director, 20-20 Trustees
    Ann Rigby, Trustee Executive, BESTrustees
    Alison Stewart, Senior Professional Trustee, Dalriada
    Chair: Shola Salako, Accredited Professional Trustee, Dalriada

    Afternoon break
    Understanding the new Pensions Schemes Act

    The Pension Schemes Act 2021 introduces new criminal offences and financial penalties. To what extent should trustees be concerned about these new offences, and should trustees expect these to drive a significant change in sponsors’ behaviour?

    Alasdair Smith, Counsel - Pensions, Linklaters

    5 minutes to move between streams
    PANEL: Virtual Trustee meetings

    The last 18 months has created a huge shift in the way Trustees have had to approach Trustee meetings. While many Trustees have experienced an improved frequency of meetings due to a lack of travel and time needed to commit, there are also some challenges. This panel will discuss the future of how Trustee meetings might look, how to ensure good governance and the new range of skills needed to progress successfully.

    Vincent Franklin, Co-founder and Creative Director, Quietroom
    Bob Hymas, Trustee Executive, BESTrustees
    Kate Leigh, Trustee Director, 20-20 Trustees

    Greig McGuinness, Professional Trustee, Dalriada
    Chair: Adrian Campbell, Professional Trustee, Dalriada

    Stream 4 - Risk

    Partner insight session: ESG - A risk management issue

    In November 2020, Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed the UK would move ahead with the country's first sovereign green bond in 2021. The last year has also seen many net zero pledges and 2025 targets from the pensions market. However, should ESG be considered in a holistic view of your assets instead of a siloed consideration? This session will focus on roles and responsibilities of the trustee board for climate-related issues, how Trustees should consider their process for the selection, review and monitoring of the scheme's asset managers.

    Chair: David Fogarty, Director, Dalriada

    Lunch and networking

    Please use this time to browse our exhibition area and enjoy a tasty lunch

    PANEL: DB Consolidation - Analysing the options

    In the last year since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in the UK, superfunds have been given the provisional regulatory greenlight by The Pensions Regulator, heralding the start of potential mass-consolidation across the DB landscape. Consolidation into larger entities aims to improve governance, reduce costs and improve the chances that pensions will be paid. This panel will discuss where the current regulation stands on DB Consolidators, assess the different models available, what the expected funding levels are and the governance requirements.

    Des Healy, Defined Benefit Consolidation Lead, DWP
    Tiffany Tsang, Head of DB, LGPS and Investment, PLSA
    Charles Ward, Professional Trustee, Dalriada

    5 minutes to move between streams
    Partner insight session: MIND THE [knowledge] GAP

    With a trustee’s role more complex than ever before, Charles Stanley Fiduciary Management unveils the most common knowledge gaps among DB trustees from our recent research – and we do our best to solve them.

    Bob Campion, Head of Fiduciary Management, Charles Stanley

    Afternoon break
    Partner insight session: Making the benefits of private credit available to all pension schemes

    Private credit can offer the potential for higher returns than public market equivalents, diversification to traditional assets and regular income streams for schemes moving into their end game. Traditionally the preserve of large schemes, this session will explore how smaller schemes can now take advantage of private credit.

    Tom Lewis, Director, Schroders Capital

    5 minutes to move between streams
    Partner insight session: Cybercrime - War games

    A feature of the coronavirus pandemic has been a dramatic growth in both the scale and sophistication of cybercrime. An increase in digital dependence presents new opportunities to cyber criminals. This session will run through a war games scenario, considering what steps Trustees should take if a cyber-attack happens:

    • Issues of confidentiality
    • Who is responsible
    • Who is liable
    • Reputational risk
    Closing keynote: Guest speaker TBA
    Chairman’s closing remarks and close of conference

    James Phillips, Deputy Editor, Professional Pensions


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    Event Content Manager
    +44 (0)207 484 9867
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    +44 (0)207 484 9977
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    +44 (0)207 484 9981