Streams


Time to delve deeper into the biggest topics in pensions.

Choose your sessions from the below streams:



Stream 1 - DB Schemes

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One Small Step for Schemes, One Giant Leap for Effective Endgame

Recently, smaller schemes, now contemplating buyout for member benefits, have notably multiplied. The rise in schemes attaining full buyout funding will heighten competition in the de-risking market, underscoring the importance of meticulous preparations. Challenges may arise for smaller schemes, given insurers' inclination toward larger, more commercially attractive transactions. With a deal-making superfund and a proposed public sector consolidator targeting the smaller segment, these schemes must act decisively now to secure their endgame.

This session will address:

  • How can smaller schemes improve their buyout game?
  • How can good admin help smaller schemes in their Endgame journeys?
  • What will happen to the market once insurers snap up larger transactions?
Speakers
Head of Bulk Annuities and Risk Transfer Partner
Barnett Waddingham
Partner and Head of DB Endgame Consulting
Barnett Waddingham
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Second Nature: Roles that Natural Capital can play for your Scheme

Private capital plays a crucial role in tackling global challenges such as degradation of ecosystems and biodiversity loss and the imperative to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Channelling investment into strategies such as woodland creation, peatland restoration as well as directly into businesses that preserve and restore our ecosystem is essential for addressing these issues. Such nature-positive projects can provide investors with a unique opportunity to not only have a real-world impact by regenerating nature and biodiversity on land and sea but also to generate attractive financial returns on their capital.

This session will address:

  • Why natural capital?
  • How can investors make the case for adding it portfolios?
  • What are the risks and other important considerations of natural capital?
Speaker
Director, Earth Systems Impact Investment, Federated Hermes; Investment Director and Co-Head of the UKNIF investment team
Federated Hermes
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Don't Take Your Foot Off the Gas

With a number of pension schemes now closer to their end-game, it is crucial not to overlook the importance of active engagement and maintaining momentum. Moving from a growth phase to a "safe harbour" requires careful consideration of advice, strategy, implementation, and stakeholder management.

During this critical phase, it is essential for schemes to stay proactive and ensure that they do not "take their foot off the gas". Join VLK's Rob Scammell, Lead Portfolio Manager UK, to explore how schemes can best prepare for the single biggest transaction they will ever do.

Speaker
Senior Portfolio Manager
Van Lanschot Kempen
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Lunch


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It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane!.. How Superfunds Can Help Save The Day and Deliver Better Outcomes for Members

In November 2023 Clara-Pensions reached agreement with Trustees of the Sears Retail Pension Scheme to transfer members to Clara in the UK’s first pension superfund transaction. Sears’ c. 9,600 Scheme members became the first to enter a UK pension Superfund as they began their journey to an insured buyout. Clara to provided £30m of new capital to increase the security of members’ benefits. Transfer to Clara also received clearance from The Pensions Regulator.

In this session, Ashu and Jayne will address:

  • The transaction process
  • How this improved outcomes for these members

Speakers
Chief Origination Officer
Clara Pensions
Head of Trustee Services
Clara Pensions
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Breaking The Mould: Are Alternatives the Way Forward?

Last year, many trustees and sponsors aimed for a pension scheme buyout with an insurer. The ongoing surge in the bulk annuity market underscores the sustained appeal of this approach. Despite its advantages, it's vital to recognise potential risks and acknowledge that buyout may not be universally suitable. Therefore, exploring overlooked alternative options becomes essential.

This session will address:

  • What other endgame options are available to schemes?
  • What are their respective advantages and disadvantages?
  • Which alternative options are most appropriate for what schemes?
  • Are there any new alternative options for schemes to be aware of?
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Endgame Planning: A Surplus of Options for Schemes

In January 2024, the pension surplus reached a record £265bn, a £100bn increase in a year. Despite the DWP releasing the final Occupational Pension Schemes Regulations, alongside unprecedented funding levels in recent months, concerns linger that the DB funding regulations missed the chance to provide clarity for schemes with surpluses.

This session will address: 

  • What options are available for schemes to best utilise significant surpluses?
  • How will schemes combat a lack of flexibility that comes with surplus?
  • What are the pros and cons of either buying out, or running on whilst managing the growth of surplus?
  • Could regulations have gone further to facilitate new possibilities?