IFoA Spring Pensions Forum

Wed 13 Mar 2024 -
09:00 - 17:00

We are delighted to announce that the Pensions Minister, Paul Maynard, will be joining us at this year’s Spring Pensions Forum, taking place on 13 March at Staple Inn, London, UK and online.

The Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), Paul Johnson, will be joining us to discuss the current IFS pensions review and how it might help solve pensions problems in the UK and promote agreed solutions.

Other speakers include: Steve Webb (former Pensions Minister), Garry Latimer (Standard Life, part of the Mansion House Compact), Anna Eagles (Law Debenture), and Luke Stratford-Higton (Clara-Pensions).

All sessions will be focussed on the needs of pensions actuaries and allow plenty of time for questions.

The day will also provide opportunities to join discussions with your peers and, for those joining us at Staple Inn, opportunity for networking with other actuaries in your field.

A wide range of subjects is on the agenda, including:

  • pension scheme de-risking: what is the ‘endgame’?
  • current themes within stewardship
  • recent legal topics
  • mortality experience in light of COVID-19
  • new funding code
  • The Mansion House Compact: delivering better outcomes

See the schedule below for more info. Please note timings may change slightly.

Schedule

Activity Time Details
Networking 09:00 - 09:45
Chair’s welcome 09:45 - 10:00
Pensions Minister address 10:00 - 10:30 Read more

Join the Minister as he addresses pensions actuaries at the IFoA on current issues for UK pension savers and Department for Work and Pensions plans for 2024.

Speaker: Paul Maynard, Minister for Pensions

Current themes within stewardship 10:30 - 11:00 Read more

This session covers:

  • the importance of institutional investors exerting their influence though engagement and voting
  • the latest developments in stewardship
  • a recent example of the value add stewardship can bring to build better outcomes for members

Speakers

Harvi Rana (Chair), Isio

Break and refreshments 11:00 - 11:15
Topical legal highlights 11:15 - 12:00 Read more

2023 was another busy year for pensions legal activity, and 2024 is looking to be similar.

This session focuses on recent and new topical areas such as:

  • the Virgin Media case
  • the use of scheme surplus
  • discretionary pension increases
  • how cost of living pressures may impact trustees’ decision making

The session explores trustees’ duties and considerations and includes practical case studies.

Speakers

  • Dawn Heath, Pensions Lawyer, Freshfields
  • Claire Rankin, Osborne Clarke
Lunch 12:00 - 13:00
Pension scheme de-risking: what is the ‘endgame’? 13:00 - 13:45 Read more

The first superfund transfer between Clara-Pensions and the Sears Retail Pension Scheme is completing and funding levels are improving. Many trustees and sponsors are now turning their thoughts to what the ‘right’ option is for their endgame planning.

In this session Suzanne Vaughan, Senior Director in WTW’s pensions risk transfer team, talks through:

  • the options available to schemes when planning for the longer term
  • how trustees, sponsors, and advisers alike can get comfortable with the outcomes for their members
  • what makes for an ‘ideal’ superfund case

Suzanne is joined by Luke Stratford-Higton, Chief Pricing Officer at Clara-Pensions. In the session, Luke shares Clara’s own reflections on welcoming its first members and what this means for cases they will look to work with in the future.

Anna Eagles, Professional Trustee and Director at Law Debenture, completes the panel sharing her reflections from a trustee perspective.

Speakers

  • Suzanne Vaughan (Chair), WTW
  • Luke Stratford-Higton, Clara Pensions
  • Anna Eagles, Law Debenture
New funding code and regulations 13:45 - 14:30
CMI session: mortality experience in light of COVID-19 14:30 - 15:00 Read more

This update from the chair of the Self-Administered Pension Schemes (SAPS) Committee comes shortly after the release of the ‘S4’ series mortality tables.

Matt Fletcher covers the process of considering the data available for the standard tables in light of the pandemic. Matt also looks looks at how the pandemic might shape our approach to mortality data going forward.

Speakers

  • Matt Fletcher, CMI Self-Administered Pension Schemes (SAPS) Committee
Break and refreshments 15:00 - 15:15
The Mansion House Compact: delivering better outcomes 15:15 - 15:55 Read more

At a time when schemes were seeing improved funding levels, and the natural next step appeared to be to de-risk, the Chancellor announced reforms to unlock billions of pounds locked in pensions to support ‘productive finance’.

But what is the motivation for schemes to want to do this? What are the implications on the wider strategy?

Hear views from a Mansion House signatory firm, a former Pensions Minister, and from an actuary about the:

  • merits and drawbacks of the proposals
  • key areas for actuaries to consider when advising in this area

Speakers

  • Garry Latimer, Standard Life
  • Steve Webb, former Pensions Minister
  • Iain McLellan, Isio
Pensions review update 15:55 - 16:15 Read more

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) executive director Paul Johnson discusses the current IFS pensions review process and how it might help solve pensions problems and promote agreed solutions.

Speaker: Paul Johnson, Director, Institute for Fiscal Studies

Closing remarks 16:15 - 16:20
Networking 16:20 - 17:15

Featured Speakers

Chair

Harvi is a Director at Isio with over 17 years’ experience in the pensions industry. She specialises in advising trustees of defined benefit pension schemes on funding strategies, member support, and more recently, pensions dashboards.

Harvi is a member of the Pensions Board at the IFoA and Chair of the IFoA Pensions Lifelong Learning Committee.

Paul Maynard was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Work and Pensions on 13 November 2023.

He was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport between July 2019 and February 2020.

He was also Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice between May 2019 and July 2019.

He was previously Government Whip (Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury). Paul was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport from July 2016 to January 2018. He was elected Conservative MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys in May 2010.

Paul has been director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies since 2011. He is a columnist for The Times and is a regular contributor to other broadcast and print media. He is a visiting professor in the UCL Policy Lab and at the UCL department of economics.

He was for 10 years a member of the UK Climate Change Committee and has served on the council of the ESRC and of the Royal Economic Society. Paul led reviews of pension auto-enrolment and of inflation measurement for the UK government, and of fiscal devolution for the Northern Ireland executive.

Previous roles have included time as chief economist at the Department for Education and as director of public spending at HM Treasury, where he also served as deputy head of the government economic service.

Paul published the Sunday Times bestseller “Follow the Money” in 2023.

He was appointed CBE in the 2018 birthday honours.

Anna is an accredited member of the Association of Professional Pension Trustees. She joined Law Debenture as a professional trustee in 2016 and has extensive trustee board and committee experience. Anna represents LawDeb on DB, DC, and hybrid arrangements ranging from under £100 million to c£10 billion across different industry sectors and in different stages of maturity, including a large master trust and an independent governance committee under the FCA’s regulatory structure.

Anna is an actuary by background and before joining LawDeb, she was a pensions consultant at WTW advising trustees and corporate clients on a wide range of pension schemes with an emphasis on operational, communications, and governance matters.

She is passionate about helping improve members’ retirement and savings outcomes through better governance, value for money, information, and education. Applying empathy, energy, and pragmatism, Anna helps boards improve their governance processes to pay the promised benefits to scheme members.

Matt is Chair of the CMI Self-Administered Pension Schemes (SAPS) Committee, which carries out analysis of pension scheme mortality and produces standard pension scheme mortality tables.

He is a senior member of Aon’s Demographic Horizons team, providing advice on longevity and other demographics to pension schemes, insurers, and reinsurers.

Matt is also a member of the profession’s COVID-19 Actuaries Response Group, which produced over 100 bulletins and other publications over the course of the pandemic. This work was discussed at SAGE and cited by the highest levels of government.

Jon is a partner in LCP’s actuarial team with over 15 years’ experience providing advice to both pension scheme trustees and sponsoring employers.

He advises a wide variety of clients, including in relation to some of the UK’s largest schemes. Each scheme has its own unique challenges, and Jon enjoys helping his clients to understand these challenges and make better decisions as a result.

Part of Jon’s role involves staying on top of the latest industry developments and helping to ensure LCP and its clients can react quickly and effectively. This links to his external role as Deputy Chair of the Society of Pension Professionals Defined Benefit Committee.

One of Jon’s key areas of focus in recent years has been the new funding code and he has taken a key role in LCP’s response here. That includes co-authoring 2 thought leadership reports as well as LCP’s responses to the various consultations, and co-presenting 2 client webinars.

Jon is also a partner champion for LCP’s diversity and inclusion networks.

Dawn is a partner in Freshfields’ pensions practice, advising employers, trustees, and financial institutions on all aspects of pensions law. She has a particular focus on UK-defined benefit pension schemes and their associated challenges, including:

  • negotiation of complex funding and security arrangements
  • liability management exercises, including buy-in and buy-out transactions
  • scheme consolidation, including scheme mergers and transfers to master trusts
  • pensions aspects of corporate and financing transactions, including global transactions
  • pensions issues in distress scenarios, including complex restructurings
  • pensions disputes, including regulatory action by The Pensions Regulator

Dawn is involved in industry forums seeking to shape the future of pensions law, including being the current chair of the Legislative and Parliamentary Committee of the Association of Pension Lawyers (having served on the committee since 2013). The committee responds to government and regulator consultations on behalf of the association. She has also served on the Association of Pension Lawyers Investment Committee.

Dawn writes and blogs regularly on pensions issues, including on managing pensions risk and proposals for legislative change in practical law and on the Freshfields risk and compliance blog.

Garry is a Senior Investment Manager at Standard Life. He joined Standard Life in 2019 to lead the strategic re-design and delivery of its new workplace investment proposition, including a low cost workplace default, investment pathways, and sustainable multi asset default investment option.

Prior to joining Standard Life, Garry was a Director of Digital Solutions at M&G Prudential, where he was responsible for digital propositions, including PruFund and PruFolio investment products. Garry was also Head of UK Retail at Aegon. Here he headed up Aegon’s retail/intermediated commercial outcome, including proposition. He was also the business lead of Aegon’s Retirement Choices investment platform.

Iain is a Director at Isio with over 20 years of consulting experience, advising trustee and corporate clients on all aspects of pensions. Following the launch of Isio, in addition to his consulting work, he has taken on leading the pensions research and development team.

In his consulting work, Iain specialises in providing strategic pensions advice in complex situations. This includes funding negotiations, long term risk management, accounting, benefit design, transactions, and acting as a scheme actuary.

Iain is also a member of the Pensions Board of the IFoA, the pensions committee of the Association of Consulting Actuaries, and the organising committee of the Scottish Actuaries Club.

Claire is a specialist in pensions law and works at Osborne Clarke. She has over 18 years’ experience advising employers and trustees on all areas of pensions law and practice relevant to defined benefit and defined contribution pension schemes. Claire’s practice includes pensions clients (trustees or employers) in many sectors, including financial services, transport, and retail. As an expert in automatic enrolment, she also advises both UK employers and inward investors on their UK pension obligations.

Luke is Chief Pricing Officer at Clara Pensions, the first superfund to have completed The Pension Regulator’s assessment process. Luke leads on the pricing and actuarial aspects of Clara’s transactions, with his team playing a key role in delivering the UK’s first superfund transaction last year.

As part of the Clara team since 2019, Luke has been closely involved in developing the superfund market and brings insight of how Clara’s member-first solution can work for scheme sponsors and trustees. He has a broad experience of the pensions and life insurance sectors, having previously worked at PwC (pensions), Reinsurance Group of America (longevity reinsurance), and UBS (insurance equity research).

He is also a member of the IFoA’s Dynamic Discount Rate Working Party, which recently published its first sessional.

Suzanne is a Senior Director in WTW’s Pension Risk Transfer team, with more than 15 years’ experience leading pension scheme trustees and scheme sponsors through derisking journeys. In 2023, Suzanne led the transaction advice to the industry-first UK superfund transaction.

Suzanne is an FCA regulated individual, working with schemes ranging from a few million to multiple billions, with a broad range of transaction experience, from captives to treatment of illiquid assets.

As part of a WTW team that led the advice to trustees on £13.4 billion of bulk annuity, longevity swaps, and superfund deals in 2023, Suzanne brings insight and knowledge from a large cross sector of the market. Suzanne is a past member of the IFoA’s Management Board and Council, and past Leader of the IFoA’s Scottish Board.

Steve Webb was Minister of State for Pensions between 2010 and 2015, the longest-serving holder of the post. During that time he implemented major reforms to the state pension system, oversaw the successful introduction of automatic enrolment and played a key role in the new pension freedoms implemented in April 2015.

Steve was a Liberal Democrat MP from 1997 to 2015. Before this he was professor of social policy at Bath University for two years, having previously worked for nine years as an economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies. Steve graduated with a first class honours degree in PPE from Oxford University in 1986. He was awarded a knighthood in the New Year’s honours in 2017.

Following his time in Parliament he worked for Royal London for four years before joining LCP as a partner in 2020.

Pricing and booking information

Members £180
Non-members £250
Virtual (Members) £150
Virtual (non-Members) £200

Location

Online and in-person: 1-3 Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn, London, WC1V 7QH

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Events Team

Contact our Events Team for more information.
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