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Avoiding the pitfalls of GMP equalisation

Five months after the High Court judgment on guaranteed minimum pensions (GMP), companies and trustees are starting to get to grips with the steps needed to meet their new legal obligations. The ruling in the Lloyds Banking Group case means schemes must correct benefits built up in the 1990s to ensure equal treatment between men and women.

Posted on Thursday Apr 18

Statutory right or member safety

The rise of pension scams is a key concern for anyone involved in retirement planning and we naturally want to do all we can to prevent it. On top of the recently introduced cold calling ban and the FCA’s ScamSmart campaign, there have been continued calls for the removal or modification of scheme members’ statutory right to a defined benefit (DB) pension transfer, which would create an extra layer of protection but would also take away a key member option.
Posted on Wednesday Apr 17

Use machine learning to detect insurance claims fraud

Machine learning used to prevent insurance claims fraud? Yes!
How can special machine learning techniques help to detect incoming fraudulent insurance claims? Learn how to pre-process data properly, tune hyperparameters and train your model to detect and prevent insurance fraud.

Posted on Tuesday Apr 16

True Quote or Not True Quote

The ABI’s latest Home Insurance Premium Tracker recently confirmed that home insurance premiums are at an all-time low. That’s good news all round isn’t it? It points to improvements in affordability of insurance for households. However, LexisNexis Risk Solutions research has revealed that despite low premiums across the market, two in three consumers would be happy to manipulate the information they provide when requesting a home insurance quote to cut the cost of their premium further still.
Posted on Monday Apr 15

The Pension Protection Funds Strategic Plan

The PPFs new strategic plan sets out their three year vision and their business plan details their objectives for the next year.
Posted on Thursday Apr 11

Preparation is the key to success for Bulk Annuity

2018 was a bumper year in the bulk annuity market. With over £24 billion of pension scheme liabilities insured, it blew the previous record of £14 billion out of the water. Demand has increased dramatically, and supply seems to be keeping pace for the moment. A further £12 billion of similar business was written between insurers, indicating the potential for further growth in pension scheme transaction volumes, but insurer quotation capacity is a limiting factor.
Posted on Thursday Apr 11

Actuaries are back in vogue

Over the last decades, actuaries have been going out of fashion. In truth, not actuaries per se, but the need for them has been declining and their skillset has become undervalued as the financial sector focused much more on investment products than risk products. Investment managers ruled the sector, as the ongoing closure of defined benefit schemes and the collapse of the annuity market put the idea of pooled risk into cold storage.
Posted on Tuesday Apr 9

Introduction to cost transparency

Pat Sharman of KAS BANK summarises the key points from the PLSA's recent teach-in on cost transparency, outlining what cost transparency is and why it is important.
Posted on Monday Apr 8

The scorpion takes to the water

Valentine’s Day marked the sixth anniversary of the Pension Regulator’s launch of its scorpion campaign and a good opportunity to look back at developments with dealing with pension scams. A year ago, I reflected on the evolving nature of pension scams and hoped that the following 12 months would see more being done to catch up with the new models and methods used by scammers.
Posted on Thursday Apr 4

Patient Capital Made Simple

Roberto Cagnati of Partners Group introduces the PLSA’s new Patient Capital Made Simple guide.
Posted on Tuesday Apr 2

Motor injury reform what next for insurers

For what is often an innocuous injury, the scale of the whiplash problem in terms of claims frequency, damages and associated cost has for the best part of 13 years been a major distraction for the insurance industry. If you were to analyse the health of a motor insurer’s claims operation, its ability to effectively manage injury claims at the low end of the value spectrum would give you a reasonable idea of whether it’s likely to fall the right side of a 100% combined operating ratio.
Posted on Tuesday Apr 2

Claims processing in the 21st century

Over the last decade, many P&C insurers have invested in claims technology by upgrading claims administration platforms, or extending the life of legacy platforms by overlaying new user interfaces. These changes have improved the consistency of claims processing, provided claims managers with greater control and insight, and driven efficiency through reduced rekeying and streamlined processes.
Posted on Thursday Mar 28

Making sense of GMP conversion

The Lloyds judgment of 26 October 2018 has put Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) conversion under a spotlight. The option to convert GMPs into ordinary pension scheme benefits was first introduced in 2009 but has to date only been used for a handful of schemes. This judgment considered the validity of several methods for adjusting members’ benefits in order to remove the effect of gender inequalities in GMPs and confirmed that GMP conversion was an acceptable method of equalisation.
Posted on Tuesday Mar 26

IFoA Antibiotic Resistance Working Party

Video of IFoA Antibiotic Resistance Working Party
Posted on Monday Mar 25

Investment opportunities for DC schemes set to expand

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) launched a wide-ranging consultation on facilitating investment by defined contribution (DC) pension schemes in illiquid assets. The consultation set out three main proposals designed to expand the investment options for occupational DC schemes to include more exposure to illiquid assets, such as small and medium-sized unlisted firms, social housing, green energy projects and other infrastructure – often collectively referred to as ‘patient capital’. The consultation period closes on 1 April 2019.
Posted on Friday Mar 22

The real risks of freedoms

When pension freedoms first came into play there was no doubt that while they offered welcome flexibility, they also resulted in more risks that could severely impact on savers. In the four years since then we have found that, while the key risks were largely as predicted, the prevalence and resulting impact were not.
Posted on Thursday Mar 21

Skilled actuaries required

Since the upheaval of pension freedoms in 2015 when drawdown rules were relaxed and annuity sales declined, the role of actuaries in the DC space has been fairly limited. But things may be set to change with the advent of Collective Defined Contribution (CDC) schemes.Towards the end of 2018 the government opened a consultation on this new type of pension saving vehicle which has proved popular in places like the Netherlands.
Posted on Wednesday Mar 20

A step change is expected for DB pension scheme funding

Mike Smedley, Pensions Partner at KPMG in the UK discusses some of the changes expected for DB pension scheme funding in 2019
Posted on Monday Mar 18

What does the ideal actuarial consultant look like

We recently published our Navigating Change report, which looks at the changing role of the actuarial consultant. One issue that struck me was the wide range of responses from pension scheme trustees as to what they look for in their ideal actuarial consultant, as well as the areas where actuaries have sometimes been found to fall short of expectations.
Posted on Friday Mar 15

The Ecosystem of Trust

Insurance is generally regarded as a background product, one of the necessities of life that most people have but do not regard as very exciting when compared to most of their other possessions. Rarely do you find people snapping or instagraming the moment when their policy proposal is accepted. In a world when even the most mundane events are seen as fodder for the voracious social media beasts, the highpoint of the insurance cycle doesn’t quite make the cut.
Posted on Thursday Mar 14

PLSA Investment Conference 2019

The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association Investment Conference 2019 video
Posted on Wednesday Mar 13

Data Enrichment to drive commercial motor

The health of the commercial motor insurance market can be strongly linked to the health of the UK economy. As such, those working in commercial motor insurance are dealing with the current uncertainty affecting businesses which buy this class of insurance.Wrapped up in this challenge is the exposure this corner of the market faces from claims losses and fraud. We’ve all heard the phrase ‘no car is as fast as a rental car’.
Posted on Tuesday Mar 12

How to reach the polar extremes of the insurance market

In my previous article Survival of the fattist I talked about some of the challenges of insuring customers with pre-existing physical disabilities or conditions. With an increasingly rich dataset to base underwriting decisions on, such as biometric data from wearables, we are likely to see an increase in the premium loadings applied to such customers while reducing base “healthy person” premiums.
Posted on Friday Mar 8

Girls Count Us In from the IFoA

IFoA event on diversity in the Actuarial profession called Girls Count Us In
Posted on Thursday Mar 7

Pensions vs Brexit

In a few short weeks we’ll see decisions made that will determine the future finances of the UK population. You could be forgiven for thinking it’s Brexit. But no, the date I’m talking about is the 6th April – the day minimum auto-enrolment (AE) pension contributions go up to 8%. 6th April will kick off the 3rd ‘people’s vote’ on whether they as individuals want to stay in or leave their pension.
Posted on Thursday Mar 7

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