Pension Funds Insider

Pension Funds Insider brings the latest pensions news and industry insights; from investment and governance updates to new mandate appointments and pensions regulatory information.

Latest news

Image for Data Cleansing

Data Cleansing

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Getting ‘transaction ready’ – you snooze you lose!!

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Image for Solvency II reform: More clarity for bulk annuity insurers

Solvency II reform: More clarity for bulk annuity insurers

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

In our March blog, we commented on the first glimpse of the UK Government’s proposed reforms to the “Solvency II” regulations that set out how much capital UK insurers are required to hold, which were outlined in a speech by John Glen MP, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury. On 28 April, HM Treasury published a consultation paper providing more detail on the proposed reforms.

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Image for Buy-out and risk transfer – a case study by Chris Mason, Senior Consultant & Actuary at Quantum Advisory

Buy-out and risk transfer – a case study by Chris Mason, Senior Consultant & Actuary at Quantum Advisory

Monday, June 20, 2022

Helping Trustees to navigate the challenges of a buyout for a small scheme


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Is China investible?

Monday, June 13, 2022

Does investing in China still make sense?

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Image for What is Value for Money?

What is Value for Money?

Monday, June 6, 2022

“Man must measure”, wrote the mathematician Lancelot Hogben over sixty years ago. A little later Peter Drucker allegedly asserted “if it cannot be measured, it cannot be managed” – although a more complete quotation would be “What gets measured gets managed — even when it’s pointless to measure and manage it, and even if it harms the purpose of the organization to do so.”

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Image for Are we currently seeing the emergence of a new global monetary system?

Are we currently seeing the emergence of a new global monetary system?

Thursday, May 26, 2022

After World War 2, the US and other developed economies, agreed to establish an international gold backed monetary system. Under this system they agreed that US dollars could be converted to gold upon demand at a fixed exchange rate. This system was maintained until 1971 and made the US dollar the global reserve currency.

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Image for Administrator, you shall go to the ball!

Administrator, you shall go to the ball!

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Pensions administration is often described as the “Cinderella service”. While the ugly sisters go the ball in all their gaudy finery, Cinderella is left behind to clean the house and nibble on a few crusts. We make the comparison in jest, but behind the kindly humour there is a great deal of truth.

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Image for How to create a more diverse, inclusive trustee board

How to create a more diverse, inclusive trustee board

Friday, May 20, 2022

Auto-enrolment has permanently changed the demographics of pension saving. While there is still more to be done to make sure everyone can save comfortably for retirement, more women now save into a defined contribution (DC) pension than ever before, and saving among young employees has skyrocketed from around 25% in 2009 to 85% in 2020[1]


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Image for Is the buyout market capacity crunch here?

Is the buyout market capacity crunch here?

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Insurers have the capital and appetite to write a vast amount of bulk annuity business each year and, to date, a lack of insurer capacity has never been an issue for pension schemes looking to purchase a bulk annuity.

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Image for And you thought equal pay was the issue?

And you thought equal pay was the issue?

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Karen Partridge discusses how important it is to change how and when the pensions industry engages with women

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Image for Pensions Act 1995 – 25 years on…

Pensions Act 1995 – 25 years on…

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Would you believe the Act is now 25 years old, having come into force on 6 April 1997, and is probably the most important legislation in the industry’s history?

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Print in Haste, Repent at Leisure

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

I try to live by the maxim: act in haste, repent at leisure. After drafting anything longer than an acknowledgment email, I like to leave it a while (preferably overnight) before one final sense check. It is slower, but any mistakes might become visible with fresh eyes.

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Image for The opportunity in China small cap

The opportunity in China small cap

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Chinese regulators have been busy with a crackdown against monopolistic behaviour by large domestic companies as part of the drive for “Common Prosperity”. A consequence of this is a more competitive environment which creates opportunities for smaller companies. And yet this space is largely unexplored in China. 

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Image for Managing downside risk in defined benefit schemes

Managing downside risk in defined benefit schemes

Monday, April 4, 2022

Investment strategy is the powerhouse of any defined benefit (DB) scheme. Strategies are as unique as schemes themselves, based on characteristics such as the maturity of the membership, strength of the sponsor covenant, scheme rules and a host of other factors. 

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Image for Pension Scams: How Will We Know If We Are Making A Difference?

Pension Scams: How Will We Know If We Are Making A Difference?

Friday, April 1, 2022

The publication of the Occupational and Personal Pension Schemes (Conditions for Transfers) Regulations 2021 rightly received extensive coverage in the pensions press and media - they represent a significant step forward in the fight against pension scams. It is hoped that the new statutory powers afforded to trustees will make a real difference and provide much needed protection to scheme members.

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Shades of Green

Thursday, March 31, 2022

The evolution of ESG investing - What information do we need to help us take that first step?

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Image for Why the war in Ukraine affects every pension scheme, however small

Why the war in Ukraine affects every pension scheme, however small

Monday, March 14, 2022

The current situation in Ukraine is unsettling and concerning on many different levels. We hope it will de-escalate as soon as possible and our thoughts are particularly with those at personal physical risk – I can’t imagine what they’re going through right now.

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Image for Solvency II reform – Seismic Shift or Gentle Transformation?

Solvency II reform – Seismic Shift or Gentle Transformation?

Monday, March 7, 2022

It has been known for some time that the UK Government and the financial services regulatory body, the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), have concerns with “Solvency II”, the current rules that set out how much capital UK insurers are required to hold.

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Image for 'Conditions for Transfers Regulations' - Is this a positive step or an unwelcome development?

'Conditions for Transfers Regulations' - Is this a positive step or an unwelcome development?

Thursday, February 17, 2022

In this blog Margaret Snowdon discusses that more is to be done in defining the latest transfer regulations, but urges we should be careful that we don’t let perfect become the enemy of the good.

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The wider implications of regulation

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

If the leitmotif of the present age is ‘sustainable’, its obverse is just as evident. Housing, child care, social care (any kind of care), financial advice – you name it, how often do we see it labelled ‘unaffordable’, implying ‘unsustainable’ by extension.

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Image for Another turbulent year for investors: China in 2021

Another turbulent year for investors: China in 2021

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

As China enters the Year of the Tiger, we look back on a tough 2021. The long-term uptrend of large consumer companies like Alibaba and Tencent ended abruptly as the state prioritised objectives like social stability and common prosperity

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Key issues for trustees in 2022

Monday, February 7, 2022

With 2021 behind us, and an uncertain outlook for the year to come, we asked three PTL Client Directors for their views on the top issues facing pension trustees in 2022.

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Image for Pensions dashboards – Lots of cooks but how do we avoid spoiling the Rice, Rice, Baby?

Pensions dashboards – Lots of cooks but how do we avoid spoiling the Rice, Rice, Baby?

Monday, January 31, 2022

Our appetite for pensions dashboards has been well and truly whetted. Now they’re just around the corner, it’s worth considering the sheer number of ingredients needed to ensure they’re a resounding success. 

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Image for Getting to buyout – the importance of using the best partners

Getting to buyout – the importance of using the best partners

Thursday, January 20, 2022

For many small schemes who do not have access to the same depth of resources as their bigger counterparts, getting to buyout can seem like a moonshot. A seemingly impossible target that is too far away, too expensive, and too difficult to attempt. Even the prospect of insurance and all that it involves can be overwhelming.

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Image for Pensions risk settlement in 2021: A year in review

Pensions risk settlement in 2021: A year in review

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Make your first steps now, de-risk before transacting.

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Benchmarking cash

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

It has become apparent that inter-bank rates have regrettably long passed their sell-by date. This is in part due to the way they are calculated...

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On the limitations of legislation

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Pension scheme trustees, administrators and advisers have been much exercised lately by new pension transfer regulations from the DWP. 

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Image for Reducing carbon emissions in emerging markets

Reducing carbon emissions in emerging markets

Thursday, December 9, 2021

A case of necessity trumping over the environment? 

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Image for Sponsors need value for money too: managing costs in defined benefit schemes

Sponsors need value for money too: managing costs in defined benefit schemes

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Getting value for money is one of the most hotly debated topics in pensions – and rightly so.
 
The focus is often on value for members in defined contribution schemes, but defined benefit (DB) trustee boards must also be able to show scheme sponsors that they are running their scheme cost-effectively. 

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Image for Scams: the beginning of the end?

Scams: the beginning of the end?

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

At last. We have the regulations to help trustees and managers just say no to suspect transfers. Hooray! Put out the bunting! Pop open the bubbly!...

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Image for ‘Parents, schools, government; where does the responsibility lie when it comes to educating children about pensions?’

‘Parents, schools, government; where does the responsibility lie when it comes to educating children about pensions?’

Monday, November 1, 2021

With the State Pension Age (SPA) and Minimum Pension Age (MPA) both set to rise respectively, and according to the Actuarial Post, two thirds of adults are unsure whether they will have enough money to retire, there has never been a greater emphasis on the need to begin to save from a young age.

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Image for 4IR and the pensions industry’s juxtaposition, success will be in keeping it personal

4IR and the pensions industry’s juxtaposition, success will be in keeping it personal

Monday, November 1, 2021

It’s an exciting time to be a consumer. New technologies are constantly being created to simplify and enhance our lives, and the way we live and work has been transformed in recent years, with sweeping changes across many sectors from supermarket shopping to online banking. 

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China’s tech giant edge

Thursday, October 21, 2021

China is the only country besides the USA that has delivered several multi-billion dollar technology companies. Why is this? We try to unpack the key ingredients in this article. 

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”Common Prosperity” in China

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Chinese regulatory events have dominated recent market news. This regulatory activity led to volatility across the Chinese markets as foreign investors in particular became concerned about China’s policy direction with some even questioning the government’s commitment to a market economy. Numerous sectors have been targeted, whether it is after-school education, online gaming for children, or most recently gambling licences in Macau.

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Image for What we talk about when we talk about pensions

What we talk about when we talk about pensions

Monday, October 11, 2021

A former Chancellor threw open a stable door seven years ago, and the pensions industry has been the same ever since. Yes, the same, in one sense: we still talk the same language. Even though fewer and fewer people have pensions: private sector employees are instead building up – or as we say, ‘accruing’ – pots of money.

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Trustees and sponsors: 5 tips for building better relationships

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Pension schemes thrive when there is a good relationship between the trustee board and the scheme sponsor. For defined benefit (DB) schemes, that relationship sits at the heart of scheme governance, influencing everything from day-to-day tasks through to major discussions over scheme direction and funding.

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Image for The case for DC Consolidation?

The case for DC Consolidation?

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Earlier this summer DWP published its consultation: ‘Future of the defined contribution pension market: the case for greater consolidation’.

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Member engagement – the next generation

Thursday, September 2, 2021

It's essential for members to be engaged with their pension fund if they're to make informed, active decisions and value the benefit they're receiving. The tricky bit is how to obtain that engagement. At CEM we believe that appropriate engagement channels and timing are key to maximising member engagement. 

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Standing out in the crowd

Friday, August 27, 2021

The bulk annuity market is buoyant, but you might not realise it looking at recently published numbers on transaction volumes. The first quarter of 2021 was relatively quiet but since then the number of schemes approaching the insurance market has been very high. 

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“Funding - are you missing an opportunity?”

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

In DB pensions, we know that opportunities will come but we also know that time is running out as schemes move towards their end-game.

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Image for How do you solve a problem like…pensions?

How do you solve a problem like…pensions?

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

How do you catch a cloud and pin it down? If the 1950s gave us The Sound of Music, it seems we all now need to start to face the music when it comes to pensions savings.

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Shifting the Balance

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

As we navigate our way out of the Covid-19 restrictions July 19 was hailed as Freedom Day. But, how free are we? We are surrounded by ‘freedoms’, but when is freedom really freedom?

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Image for Not a Pointless Answer I’m Afraid

Not a Pointless Answer I’m Afraid

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Ignorance of the law (and of regulation) is no defence against the consequences of a breach. So it is important to know what it is and understanding what it means in practice.

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Cost vs Performance

Thursday, July 15, 2021

One of the most interesting things about having lots of data is the unexpected things you discover when you start playing with it. 

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Image for Nudging members toward better retirement choices

Nudging members toward better retirement choices

Thursday, July 15, 2021

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has released a consultation titled ‘The stronger nudge to pensions guidance’. Its aim is to create an environment where consumers are encouraged to take the right guidance at the right time to support them to make informed decisions.

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The Road Ahead is Under Construction

Thursday, July 15, 2021

We are all waiting for the expected regulations on transfers, bringing in the curbs to the statutory right to transfer.  PSIG has battled long and hard for legislation to help trustees do the right thing by members tempted by dodgy offers, so we are fully supportive of the DWP regulations to come, and indeed, have helped form them. 

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Image for The Investment Podcast: Sustainability in private credit – can the two go hand in hand?

The Investment Podcast: Sustainability in private credit – can the two go hand in hand?

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

While sustainability has been most obviously implemented within public markets, appetite from investors to access private market opportunities has grown. With fewer disclosure requirements, and challenges in providing tangible evidence and data that prove the sustainability of business operations, can allocations to private credit be coherent with a desire to increase sustainability in investment? Catherine Ross and Fiona Hagdrup at M&G Investments sit down to explore the compatibility of these two investment aims.

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Considering climate risk – some pointers for trustees

Friday, July 2, 2021

Richard Butcher discusses the “must do’s” versus the “can do’s” when it comes to climate change and investments.

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Image for CTI Templates - fail fast, learn fast

CTI Templates - fail fast, learn fast

Friday, July 2, 2021

CTI has been a success. It has improved the flow and consistency of cost data coming from investment managers, but challenges remain. Anyone collecting templates, either within an asset owner or an intermediary, need to learn fast to make the data useable.

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Image for The Investment Podcast: Navigating the road to real estate recovery

The Investment Podcast: Navigating the road to real estate recovery

Friday, June 25, 2021

Picking up on the themes from their latest Global Real Estate Outlook, the real estate team at M&G Investments discuss the outlook across different sectors and geographies. Which could see rapid growth and which may lag behind? They also explore the potential impact of inflation on the asset class.

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Image for Setting your pension strategy – now is the time

Setting your pension strategy – now is the time

Friday, June 18, 2021

A trustee’s ultimate responsibility is to ensure that benefits are paid in full up to and including the final payment to the very last member. The challenge is how to deliver on something that is so far away. 

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Image for Are DC contribution levels enough in the current low economic growth world?

Are DC contribution levels enough in the current low economic growth world?

Friday, June 18, 2021

Understandably a lot of the focus in the last 15 months has been placed on the short-term impacts on the financial wellbeing of individuals and businesses alike from the Covid-19 global pandemic. Whilst engagement by Trustees and members in Defined Contribution (“DC”) pension arrangements have seen a boost over the period, our experience is still that DC arrangements are often forgotten by sponsoring employers when compared with their Defined Benefit (“DB”) counterparts.  

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Image for Why and how small DB pension schemes should insure

Why and how small DB pension schemes should insure

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Bulk annuity insurance might seem like an obvious objective for a small pension scheme but what are the specific factors behind that? Let’s consider a couple.

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Image for Global Real Estate Outlook: Navigating the road to recovery

Global Real Estate Outlook: Navigating the road to recovery

Thursday, June 3, 2021

The unparalleled economic disruption and acceleration of structural trends caused by the pandemic has focused investors on positioning for the long term. But what is the final destination? And with the journey unlikely to be smooth, could cyclical opportunities get lost? In the latest outlook from M&G Investments, we map the potential road to recovery, from today’s starting point, to signposts to look out for, to the direction of travel for real estate portfolios.

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Image for The Investment Podcast: The folly of forecasting – finding value in an uncertain world

The Investment Podcast: The folly of forecasting – finding value in an uncertain world

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

There has been significant positive momentum in credit markets since the Covid crisis began, underpinned by unprecedented levels of government and central bank support. However, despite market expectations of a sharp rebound in economic activity, there remain significant risks to this view. Notably, what happens as the stimulus packages are wound down - how will markets respond? What does the structure of markets tell us about the underlying risks? In this episode, David Parsons is joined by Richard Ryan to talk about the current issues in fixed income markets and the cyclical nature of markets.

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Image for Prevention is better than cure

Prevention is better than cure

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Seven years ago, I set up the Pension Scams Industry Group, with some like-minded senior industry representatives, to combat the rising problem of pension scams. Within the industry, we could see harm being done and I predicted that we would see £1Bn being lost to scams by 2018. Even though it seemed unbelievable to many at the time, unfortunately that milestone was easily passed.

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DC Governance – a tale of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

An analogy comparing DC governance to a spaghetti western (however iconic!) may seem tenuous – but when PASA reviewed TPR’s recently published ‘Defined Contribution trust-based pension scheme research report’, it was more relevant than you might at first imagine.

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Image for Member engagement: Four simple tips for going beyond the tick-box approach

Member engagement: Four simple tips for going beyond the tick-box approach

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Pension scheme members have multiple choices to make along their retirement savings journey. Whether it’s how much to save, when to retire or how to take benefits, engaging members is key to helping them make informed choices and maximise their outcomes.

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Image for A closer look at the ‘S’ in ESG - especially when it comes to investing in China

A closer look at the ‘S’ in ESG - especially when it comes to investing in China

Friday, May 14, 2021

The rapid growth of Asian stock markets has captured investors’ attention – but so have worries about ESG, especially in China. China’s effort to tackle the environment, like lowering carbon emissions, is well recognised, but concerns regarding human rights cast a shadow over the incredible growth opportunities.

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Image for The pensions risk transfer market during the pandemic

The pensions risk transfer market during the pandemic

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

For obvious reasons, we’ve recently seen a lot of television and press features looking back at the events of the past 12 months. Let’s look back at what has happened in the bulk annuity market in that time and what this might lead to over the next 12 months.

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Pension Wise and Otherwise

Monday, May 10, 2021

For the past six years, pension savers with defined contribution (DC) pots have had to decide for themselves how best to fund their retirement. It might be the hardest decision they ever have to make, especially if they’re relying on income drawdown because they don’t know how long the pot will have to last. DC savers carry the longevity risk.

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Sidecar Blues

Friday, April 23, 2021

It’s generally acknowledged that as a nation, we’re not saving enough. A lot of people don’t have any savings at all, and a lot more don’t have significant pension savings. Personal expenditure all too often rises to match income, so it’s hard for many people to save, and even harder to voluntarily commit funds to a retirement scheme which they can’t get at again for decades. But we need to do both.

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Image for RPI reform – issues and actions for trustees

RPI reform – issues and actions for trustees

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Following a period of consultation, the Government announced on 25 November 2020 its intention to align the Retail Price Index (RPI) with the Consumer Price Index including housing costs (CPIH) from 2030.

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Image for Value centric pension administration – how to move the needle

Value centric pension administration – how to move the needle

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Is the UK too focused on driving pension administration costs down or are we missing something vital?

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Image for The rise of government bond yields

The rise of government bond yields

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Pension schemes are one of the largest investors in fixed income instruments and hence are sensitive to central bank policy - monitoring of global monetary policies are of utmost importance.

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Image for The evolution of ESG investing

The evolution of ESG investing

Monday, March 22, 2021

Shades of Green 

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Image for A review of a turbulent 2020

A review of a turbulent 2020

Monday, March 15, 2021

The Chinese perspective.

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Image for A Misguidance Manual

A Misguidance Manual

Friday, March 12, 2021

The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.
- George Bernard Shaw

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Image for Hooking in your members

Hooking in your members

Monday, February 22, 2021

Engaging members in their pensions has never been more important, although achieving it remains stubbornly elusive for most trustees and employers. Can appealing to a member’s social conscience be the hook we’ve been waiting for?

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Image for There is no such thing as a free SARs

There is no such thing as a free SARs

Monday, February 22, 2021

Or a free lunch for that matter. Paul Sturgess, PASA discusses Subject Access Request (SARs).

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Image for Working to Combat Scams

Working to Combat Scams

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

As we look forward with hope that the dedication, expertise and teamwork of our scientists, doctors and healthcare professionals will enable us to overcome this dreadful virus, so too in the world of pension scams we hope that the determination and focus of so many good people in the industry can really see us make a difference in the year ahead.

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Image for The Investment Podcast by M&G Investments

The Investment Podcast by M&G Investments

Monday, February 15, 2021

As we enter 2021, this podcast examines some of the narratives that have emerged from the real estate sector during 2020 and how much truth there may be to them in the coming year. Has COVID-19 caused a permanent shift? How will the retail sector continue to evolve? What is the outlook for the industrial sector? 

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Image for Doing well by doing good

Doing well by doing good

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Dwindling biodiversity, climate change and social injustice are just a few of the forces reshaping our understanding of economics. Investors wishing to address these challenges are fuelling the irresistible rise of Responsible Investment (RI)

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Image for Will there be changes to bulk annuity affordability in 2021?

Will there be changes to bulk annuity affordability in 2021?

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

This is a complex question. The answer will come down to the combined effect of how a pension scheme’s asset portfolio performs and how insurer pricing moves...

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Image for The Case for Hedged Equity

The Case for Hedged Equity

Thursday, January 21, 2021

If any of the questions below are important to your pension scheme – we think it is worth a few minutes of your time to read this post:
· Is my pension funded status lower than I would like it to be?
· Is my scheme on a “de-risking” glidepath?
· Have I been disappointed with the performance and fees of equity long/short hedge funds?
· Are equity markets overvalued?

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Image for Pensions, pitfalls and presentation screw ups - musings from the box room

Pensions, pitfalls and presentation screw ups - musings from the box room

Monday, January 18, 2021

There is no doubt that 2020 presented a challenging environment for trustees, administrators, and advisers. Whilst we still find ourselves battling against the virus, economically and socially, we have had to alter our ways of working. Some of these adaptations have resulted in improved efficiency, timeliness and strangely enough, engagement. Not something that you would expect during a period where our everyday freedoms are restricted.

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Image for Increased regulation of technology companies: a Chinese perspective

Increased regulation of technology companies: a Chinese perspective

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

In October there was much market attention – excitement even – around the imminent listing in Hong Kong of Ant Financial, the Alibaba-affiliated digital finance giant...

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Image for Whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on

Whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Jerry Lee Lewis recorded this in 1957, a year after Bill Haley’s film “Rock Around the Clock” had teenagers here dancing in the aisles and their appalled elders fulminating about the end of civilisation (as they knew it). Guy Opperman isn’t old enough to have witnessed that, but it seems he’s on a mission at the moment to shake up the pensions industry.

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I have a dream...

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

I don’t often quote ABBA, but it seems a little relevant just now...

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Image for Reasons to be cheerful

Reasons to be cheerful

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

'Even in these trying times there are positives to be found – we should be using these challenges as an opportunity for change. '

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Image for Protecting pension scheme members from cybercrime

Protecting pension scheme members from cybercrime

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Cyber security – preparing and protecting ourselves from a cybercrime attack is possible, but, immunisation is impossible!

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Image for How do we support our colleagues and their families at a difficult time?

How do we support our colleagues and their families at a difficult time?

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

The unexpected and untimely passing of a loved one is a life changing event for all concerned. Whether the deceased was the main breadwinner for the family, or the homemaker, or more likely a combination of both, their loss throws a huge stone into the pool of life; the ripples of which are rarely considered until the situation arises.

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2021 Investment Outlook

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Investing Beyond the Pandemic: A Reset for Portfolios

The pandemic’s arc and its impact on political and policy developments are resetting expectations and will continue to define the investment landscape.

Pinebridge Investments have gathered insights from their senior investment leadership on what investors might expect in 2021 and beyond, how to position amid volatility and unpredictable market conditions, and where to tap opportunities arising from the disruptions they’ve seen and will likely continue to see.

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Image for The world that COVID built

The world that COVID built

Monday, November 16, 2020

2020 will go down in history as the year of the pandemic; an epic shock for societies and economies with dramatic ramifications on people and industries. This has propelled us into a new era, in which high uncertainty is likely to remain the base case for some time to come. 

In M&G Investments' global outlook, we look ahead at the key trends shaping real estate, and identify stand out areas of opportunity in respective markets globally.  

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Cost disclosure - smoke and mirrors

Friday, November 13, 2020

Too many pension funds are criticised because the costs they disclose in financial statements are high. We should stop taking cheap shots and have more respect for funds that are going an extra mile on transparency.

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Image for Superfunds – complementary or competition?

Superfunds – complementary or competition?

Friday, November 13, 2020

As the market for commercial consolidation vehicles (‘superfunds’) rapidly develops, the Pensions Regulator (TPR) issued its guidance to defined benefit scheme trustees and employers considering a superfund transaction.

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Image for How can fiduciary management help pension schemes?

How can fiduciary management help pension schemes?

Friday, November 13, 2020

Time is precious, and time is money.

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Image for Time to reflect and reset

Time to reflect and reset

Monday, November 2, 2020

The season has turned, our clocks have been reset. Let’s grasp the opportunity to help reset attitudes towards money and the impact it has on us.

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Image for Triennial Valuations - should you take the fast track?

Triennial Valuations - should you take the fast track?

Thursday, October 29, 2020

The new funding code is due to be introduced shortly, leading to some of the most significant changes in actuarial valuations in many years. The new funding code will introduce two approaches for trustees to choose between: fast-track and bespoke.

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ESG forever

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

First coined around a decade ago as an abbreviation for ‘Environmental, Social and Governance’, ESG only really entered common currency this year; yet confusion abounds as to what it’s all about.  

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Chinese Environmental Change - What is the impact?

Monday, October 19, 2020

Environmental changes can have a material impact on financial performance, so why compromise between financial return and ESG?

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The first of October

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

We’re living in a time when almost anything familiar is celebrated. Uncertainty makes us uncomfortable and total uncertainty is intolerable. We need a frame of reference.

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Image for Digital Pensions – What Future for DB?

Digital Pensions – What Future for DB?

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Digital advancements over recent years meant, fortunately, pensions administration (like the whole of the pensions industry) was able to carry on successfully, in the main, during lockdown. However, the same cannot be said for pension scheme members themselves, particularly those of DB schemes, and that needs to change.

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Stop scammers in their tracks

Monday, September 21, 2020

''£2.5bn still sits in pension savings today, a rich seam for scammers and if we don’t do something now.'' Margaret Snowdon lays out what the PSIG are doing to combat criminal activity.

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SIPs - What are they for?

Friday, September 18, 2020

SIPs: Let's talk education and engagement in yet another push for transparency and disclosure
1st October is approaching……

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#NotAnotherTemplate

Thursday, September 10, 2020

There’s a growing demand for pension funds to justify their costs. The costs that are hardest to pin down relate to investments in private markets – and private equity in particular. They are also often the most material.

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Is Fast Track the Right Track for buy-out?

Friday, August 28, 2020

The new funding regime is likely to make buy-out more attainable, but schemes need to be alert to avoid unintended consequences

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COVID-19 – A New Marshall Plan?

Friday, August 14, 2020

The exceptional market volatility and global economic impact that has come with the COVID-19 pandemic has brought an equally exceptional response from global policy makers....

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Change

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

As Keane sang “Everybody’s changing and I don’t feel the same”. 
Change is all around us, affecting everything. Our daily lives are unrecognisable from six months ago. We’ve been in lockdown and everyone is coping with change in every aspect of their lives. The way we communicate has never been more important.

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A Technology Cold War?

Monday, August 3, 2020

We see a “technology cold war” as a major future risk for global investors. It might have far-reaching implications for industrial supply chains, technology companies and consumers everywhere. Our view on China remains constructive though...

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Funding the last third

Monday, July 27, 2020

How the financial services sector can do more to help fund the last third of our lives.

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Cybercrime and Pensions Administration

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

In 2019, cybercrime and fraud constituted 42% of all criminal activity. With the advances in technology the whole of society is experiencing, its no surprise that crime is evolving too..

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The consequences of pension scams

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Margaret Snowdon takes us through the importance of tackling pensions scams and what the industry can do about it.

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Image for The 80/20 Rule

The 80/20 Rule

Friday, July 10, 2020

Why the biggest investment costs are also the hardest to understand 

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Image for Sunny Summer Statement

Sunny Summer Statement

Friday, July 10, 2020

The usual frenetic febrile flurry of fears for pensions ahead of a major announcement by the Chancellor proved, once again today, unwarranted. Nothing about the triple lock rule for state pension increases; no mention of NICs on pensions; and above all, no dramatic seismic shift on tax relief.  Rishi Sunak makes headlines of a different kind.

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Image for A green light on ‘building back batter’ - Equities Market Perspective video July 2020

A green light on ‘building back batter’ - Equities Market Perspective video July 2020

Thursday, July 9, 2020

In this month’s video Kirsty Clark, Investment Specialist at M&G Investments, comments on the growing focus on Sustainability and ESG issues in the wake of COVID-19, and how authorities, companies and investors have been responding. 

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What’s good for the sole

Friday, July 3, 2020

Richard Butcher talks of his experience of being a sole trader and the concerns TPR has about the gradual shift towards sole trusteeship

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Welcome news from the regulators

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

On 18 June, The Pensions Regulator (TPR) issued guidance on a regime that now allows defined benefit schemes to proceed to consider and ultimately transact with a commercial consolidator or “superfund”. 

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Image for The Growth of Private Equity Secondaries

The Growth of Private Equity Secondaries

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The Global Financial Crisis provided opportunities and growth in the Secondaries market as a means to gain liquidity, but is that the same case today as a result of COVID-19? Or has the investment landscape changed? Neuberger Berman's Tristram Perkins and Benjamin Perl discuss what some of the key differences and similarities might be, along with how the Secondaries market has developed before the pandemic hit, as investors are adjusting to the “new normal” in today’s market.

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Future Proofing Your Insurance

Monday, June 22, 2020

Considering buy-ins and longevity swaps for DB pension funds?

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Image for The long and winding road to recovery?

The long and winding road to recovery?

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Is this the low point for the UK economy and the start of a long road to recovery?

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How many managers?

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

When could a multi-manager approach in China be particularly effective for the risk aware investor?

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Image for “The World’s Factory” Reopens

“The World’s Factory” Reopens

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Just as Chinese manufacturers are coming back online, the rest of the global economy is still struggling to contain the outbreak. With overseas demand for Chinese manufactured goods weakening, where does demand come from? How might this affect China’s economy? Ning Meng at Neuberger Berman, discusses his views with Patrick Liu, Head of China at Neuberger Berman.

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A New Cold War

Monday, June 8, 2020

U.S.-China relations have been tested over the course of the pandemic. There are rising concerns that a potential decoupling of the two countries could usher in a new cold war, which may bring negative impacts to the overall global economy. How might this affect China? Watch this video where Ning Meng, Portfolio Manager – China Equity at Neuberger Berman, discusses his views with Patrick Liu, Head of China at Neuberger Berman, on the economic and equity market outlook for China.

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Beefing up your SIP

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Another year and another set of requirements. Having met the 1st October 2019 deadline for updating their Statements of Investment Principles, trustees now face a further set of deliverables for 1st October 2020. 

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When good comms go bad

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Leanne Taylor, AHC, discusses why it is important to consider the impact of campaign communications, as things can take a very different turn if not thought through...

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At the Peak of The Curve

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Asset Allocation Committee Outlook 2Q2020: Special Update by Neuberger Berman

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Image for  PE Investing at Market Inflections

PE Investing at Market Inflections

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Faced with the uncertainties of the COVID-19 crisis and demands for portfolio rebalancing, investors may be tempted to cut their private equity programs or re-think plans to expand them. In this short video interview, John Buser, Executive Vice Chairman—NB Alternatives, looks back to the dotcom era and the Great Financial Crisis to explain why he thinks they should stay the course.

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Equity Investing as We Approach a “New Normal”

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Richard Nackenson, Neuberger Berman Equity Senior Portfolio Manager, discusses how investor psychology has changed over the past month and where he is finding investment opportunities as we approach a “new normal.”

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A time to choose

Monday, May 18, 2020

Life in slow motion: That’s how a video camera might record human activity on Earth now. The streets are empty, almost as if a neutron bomb has gone off. Many aspects of normal life are paused. On closer examination though, there’s a lot going on.

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Image for Private Equity Perspectives “Moving from Defense to Offense”

Private Equity Perspectives “Moving from Defense to Offense”

Monday, May 18, 2020

David Stonberg, Global Co-Head of Private Equity Co-Investments at Neuberger Berman, provides an update on the private equity market and discusses deal activity in the Co-Investment space.

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Trends in Private Market Investing

Friday, May 15, 2020

Sean Ward looks at the trends that are emerging across buyout managers and how this is impacting investor sentiment.

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Recovery Scenarios and Emerging Themes

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Erik Knutzen, CFA, CAIA, Chief Investment Officer, Multi-Asset Class at Neuberger Berman shares insights on navigating the range of paths through the recovery and our playbook for capitalizing on investment themes.

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Municipal Bond Market Update

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

James Iselin, Neuberger Berman’s Head of Municipal Fixed Income, discusses the potential for a rise in delinquencies and defaults across the municipal bond market.

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Private Debt Through the Crisis

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Susan Kasser at Neuberger Berman explores the themes that remain consistent in private debt portfolios through the crisis and those that will likely reassert themselves following the dislocation.

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D for Digital

Monday, May 11, 2020

 It’s difficult not to pick up a document which doesn’t refer to Covid-19, but one of the things it’s served to highlight is the next letter in the alphabet – D for Digital. 

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Image for Market Volatility – Closing Bell Insight

Market Volatility – Closing Bell Insight

Monday, May 11, 2020

On this episode of Closing Bell Insights, Stephanie B. Luedke, Head of Private Wealth Management joins Joseph V. Amato, President and Chief Investment Officer of Equities at Neuberger Berman, as he shares an update on the current equity market environment and discusses what to potentially expect from an economic “restart”.

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The Pandemic’s Effect on the Retail Sector

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Sam Porat, Head of Alternative Yield Strategies at Neuberger Berman discusses the impact the current COVID-19 pandemic has had on the retail sector and how it has compared to previous downturns.

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Image for EM Equity: A Return to Fundamentals, but a Long Road ahead

EM Equity: A Return to Fundamentals, but a Long Road ahead

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Conrad Saldanha, Neuberger Berman Emerging Markets Equity Portfolio Manager, discusses April’s EM equity market rally and the impact of falling oil prices on EM economies.

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Perspective on Private Credit

Friday, May 8, 2020

Listen to David Lyon, Co-Head of Private Credit at Neuberger Berman as he discusses the current dislocation in the credit markets and the types of investment opportunities that may emerge as a result.

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Opportunity in Credit Dislocation

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Michael Holmberg and John Humphrey of Neuberger Berman provide an update on the credit market dislocations resulting from the crisis, what is causing concern in the market and how to find the opportunities that are emerging.

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Image for Energy Update: Oil Prices Fall to Historic Lows

Energy Update: Oil Prices Fall to Historic Lows

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Jeff Wyll, Neuberger Berman Senior Research Analyst, discusses the April 20th collapse in U.S. oil prices and the implications for investors in the energy sector.

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Real Estate Investing through the Crisis

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Matthew Kaplan reviews the impact to different sectors of the real estate market resulting from COVID-19, where opportunities may arise as the market finds its footing.

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Every villain needs a hero

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Margaret Snowdon, Chair of the PSIG, draws our attention to the side effects of the Coronovirus crisis and some welcome changes for the pensions industry.

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Fixed Income Market Update: A Lower Volatility Environment

Monday, May 4, 2020

Ashok Bhatia, Neuberger Berman Deputy Chief Investment Officer - Fixed Income, discusses the decline of fixed income market volatility in April and provides an update on where his team is finding value across the fixed income markets.

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The cost of everything, the value of nothing

Monday, May 4, 2020

John Simmonds looks at the current benchmarking trend and explains there is a difference between benchmarking and good benchmarking.

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Image for The Health Care Sector through a COVID-19 Lens

The Health Care Sector through a COVID-19 Lens

Friday, May 1, 2020

Welcome to Disruptive Forces in Investing, a podcast series featuring Neuberger Berman’s seasoned investors who discuss trends that are transforming the investment industry and beyond.

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Image for  European Private Equity Insights

European Private Equity Insights

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Joana Rocha Scaff, Head of Europe Private Equity at Neuberger Berman, delves into how European private equity firms are dealing with the crisis, best practices for investor communications and the importance of understanding the long and short term impact of the crisis.

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Image for Volatility Update: Swings in Sentiment Keep Volatility Levels Elevated

Volatility Update: Swings in Sentiment Keep Volatility Levels Elevated

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Derek Devens, Neuberger Berman Option Group Portfolio Manager, talks about continuing volatility, the factors that could steer it one way or another and the potential implications for Options investors.

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European Fixed Income Market Update

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

In this video, Investment Grade European Fixed Income Head at Neuberger Berman, Patrick Barbe provides an update on current conditions across bond markets, explaining what he believes marks an important turning point in the current situation. He also offers his outlook and an update on positioning, considering potential trends such as a shift away from globalization towards more domestically-oriented growth prospects.

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A View of the Private Equity Environment

Monday, April 27, 2020

Anthony Tutrone, Global Head of Alternatives at Neuberger Berman, looks at private equity valuations through crises and the investment environment looking ahead.

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Closing Bell Insights

Sunday, April 26, 2020

On this episode of Closing Bell Insights, Joseph V. Amato, President and Chief Investment Officer of Equities at Neuberger Berman, shares his market update and insights after the closing bell, including potential implications for investors.

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Image for High Yield Market Update: Volatility Persists

High Yield Market Update: Volatility Persists

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Christopher Kocinski, Neuberger Berman U.S. High Yield Senior Portfolio Manager, discusses the factors that have contributed to the volatility in the non-investment grade credit market and how his team has adjusted portfolios as spreads have widened.

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Uncorrelated Strategies Market Update

Friday, April 24, 2020

In this short video, Portfolio Manager, Fred Ingham provides an update on current conditions across uncorrelated strategies, offering his thoughts on both the short and longer-term impacts of COVID-19 on asset markets. He also updates on the positioning of Neuberger Berman’s portfolios.

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Credit Dynamics

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Senior credit professionals Ashok Bhatia, Deputy CIO in Fixed Income, David Brown, Co-Head of Global Investment Grade Fixed Income, Susan Kasser, Co-Head of Private Credit and Joseph Lynch, Global Co-Head of Non-Investment Grade Credit at Neuberger Berman discuss the market implications and potential opportunities arising from the recent unusual market dynamics.

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Currency Market Update

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

In this video, Neuberger Berman’s Head of Global Currency, Ugo Lancioni provides an update on currency markets during the current period of volatility. Ugo reviews how global currencies have been impacted by the situation, outlining key drivers of FX markets. He also explains how he aims to identify the winners and losers amid the current dynamics.

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Real Estate Securities Market Update

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

In this short video, Gillian Tiltman, Portfolio Manager of the UK and Continental European portion of Neuberger Berman’s Real Estate Securities Group offers an update on real estate markets. Gillian explains why some of the longer-term secular demand trends her team have been focused on are now being highlighted by the current situation. She also updates on positioning across portfolios.

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Image for Covid-19 and the bulk annuity market

Covid-19 and the bulk annuity market

Monday, April 20, 2020

There are still benefits to be had from dealing in uncertain times.

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Image for  Global High Yield Market Update

Global High Yield Market Update

Monday, April 20, 2020

In this video update from Senior Portfolio Manager, Vivek Bommi at Neuberger Berman, we review conditions across global non-investment grade bond markets and offer our outlook for the asset class.

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Capitalism meets Coronavirus

Friday, April 17, 2020

Despite the clearly tragic short-term impacts of the coronavirus, could the outbreak be an unintended agent of change? In this month’s video, Investment Director at M&G Investments, Ritu Vohora looks at the potential silver lining amidst the fear and the value of ESG to long-term investors, providing an important and alternative perspective on major issues affecting markets and economies today.

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Perspectives on Liquidity

Friday, April 17, 2020

Anne Brennan, Chief Risk Officer and Ken DeRegt, COO for Fixed Income at Neuberger Berman, share their insights on managing liquidity in today’s markets, with a look at how this compares to 2008.

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Macro Insights and Asset Allocation

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Erik Knutzen, Chief Investment Officer – Multi-Asset Class Strategies at Neuberger Berman, discusses the impact of last week’s Fed actions and stimulus package along with how this decline is different than 2008 in terms of markets and investment implications.

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How Could Covid-19 Affect 5G?

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

The way we live, work and learn has shifted markedly since the Covid-19 outbreak. With greater reliance on online resources, we see an increased demand for faster network speeds that could be enabled by 5G. How could the pandemic affect 5G rollouts? Where are the opportunities? Watch YT Boon, Director of Research – Asia at Neuberger Berman, as he shares his insights on the demand for this service.

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EMD Market Update

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Gorky Urquieta, Co-Head of the Neuberger Berman Emerging Markets Debt Team, discusses the factors that contributed to the sell-off of EMD assets over the past month and how the team is positioning portfolios in this volatile market environment.

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Reset: regulators row back

Thursday, April 9, 2020

March was chaotic, wasn’t it? New terms became familiar: ‘self-isolating’, ‘underlying health condition’, and so on. We’re all having to adjust to new ways of living as well as working. There are no certainties any more, it seems.

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Image for Audio Insight: The Course of COVID-19

Audio Insight: The Course of COVID-19

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Terri Towers, Senior Healthcare Research Analyst at Neuberger Berman looks at the current progression of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as her views on inflection points and treatment timelines.

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Image for  Using Data Science to Bring Order to the Disruption

Using Data Science to Bring Order to the Disruption

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Michael Recce, Chief Data Scientist at Neuberger Berman, discusses the data sets his team is analyzing to help us look at trends that may give some insight on the path for a return to normalcy in both public health and the economy.

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Image for Coronavirus: testing times for pension scheme trustees

Coronavirus: testing times for pension scheme trustees

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Communication and prioritisation are vital argues Emily Whitelock

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Image for COVID 19 – The Financial Impact

COVID 19 – The Financial Impact

Thursday, April 2, 2020

The exponential spread of Coronavirus across the globe has driven a global market crash and, most likely, a deep economic recession. As businesses temporarily close or halt production, we do not yet know the legacy this will leave on the UK economy – or pension schemes. 

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Image for Making good use of cost data: #3 – am I becoming more efficient?

Making good use of cost data: #3 – am I becoming more efficient?

Thursday, April 2, 2020

The Cost Transparency Initiative (CTI) templates are helping pension funds to get a grip on their investment costs – but how can funds make the data useful? There are three fundamental questions that pension fund Boards should expect answers on:

1.     Are my costs reasonable?
2.     Am I getting value-for-money?
3.     Am I becoming more efficient?

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Corporate Hybrid Bond Introduction

Monday, March 30, 2020

In this short video, Senior Portfolio Manager, Julian Marks offers an overview of corporate hybrid bond markets and outlines the philosophy and approach adopted across Neuberger Berman’s portfolios. He provides examples of the kinds of issuers the team typically consider and reviews current market conditions.

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Panic buying pensions

Monday, March 16, 2020

What on earth can an empty supermarket shelf have to do with pensions?

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Image for The Budget 2020

The Budget 2020

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Claire Carey comments on the change in the taxation of pensions in todays budget.

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Image for Contingency plan

Contingency plan

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Cash will always be king but contingent assets can be a workable compromise

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No news is good news

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Business as usual for pensions post-Budget

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Image for Spotlight on transaction cost disclosure

Spotlight on transaction cost disclosure

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Donny Hay discusses the impact and reasons for transparency on transaction costs

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Image for DC Administration Governance?

DC Administration Governance?

Friday, November 17, 2017

Lucy Collet asks: What do you think of when you think of DC Governance?

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Image for The Pensions Dashboard: where are we?

The Pensions Dashboard: where are we?

Friday, November 17, 2017

We need to get a grip on retirement saving says Aries Insight's' Ian Neale.

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Image for Dashboard Ready

Dashboard Ready

Friday, November 17, 2017

The pensions dashboard project is well underway; but what do consumers think and how can schemes prepare ahead of the launch?

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Pension proud

Friday, November 3, 2017

"I'm proud to work in pensions, but I'm jealous of the NHS" - Peter Nicholas

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