Investment - Articles - Top five actions for MiFID II for pension schemes

The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) has published a guide outlining the top five actions that pension schemes need to take as the clock ticks inexorably towards the MiFID II (the European Union’s revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive) implementation deadline of 3 January 2018.

 MiFID II will introduce wide-ranging changes to financial services regulation that will affect UK pension schemes and how they use and pay for fund management services. The PLSA’s newly published guide is designed to help trustees, scheme managers and other senior decision-makers consider what action is needed before and after the implementation of MiFID II.

 A Thomson Reuters’ survey of over 1,100 executives across the world published in September 2017 found that only 46% of respondents described themselves as ‘knowledgeable’ about MiFID II1 and 37% felt their organisation was not fully prepared.

 Commenting on the guide, Caroline Escott, Investment and Defined Benefit Policy Lead at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, said: “With the countdown to MiFID II implementation well underway it’s essential that pension schemes are fully aware of the actions they need to take in the run up to 3 January and the actions necessary in the months afterwards.

 “There has been some discussion about a lack of preparedness amongst asset managers, businesses and financial institutions, but it’s just as important that pension schemes know what needs to be done to ensure a smooth transition to the new rules. The top five actions outlined in our guide are intended to help schemes prepare and prioritise to avoid any issues or a last minute rush. But MiFID II also presents the perfect opportunity for schemes to seriously consider how they use their managers and we hope this guide will help instigate such reviews.”

 The MiFID II changes will be especially relevant to the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS).

 The PLSA’s Caroline Escott explained: “All pension schemes need to be aware of the changes MiFID II brings, but LGPS funds in particular need to be mindful because under MiFID II they will be re-categorised as ‘retail’ clients, which may prevent access to some fund classes and products, potentially affecting their investment strategies. It is possible for these funds to ‘opt up’ to professional status and this process is just one of the actions covered by the PLSA’s guide.”

 The guide is available for free here.

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