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Key Priorities for Governance in 2022

2021 was a busy year for governance with the consultation and release of the draft Code of Practice, and the first wave of pension schemes being required to meet the TCFD governance requirements. The next 12 months promise to be an even busier time as we expect the draft Code of Practice to come into force in the summer and more schemes will need to adhere to TCFD. We look at key governance priorities for pension schemes over 2022.

Posted on Monday Jan 24

Infographic on the future of cyber insurance

According to a brand new survey by Intelligent Insurer, 90% of respondents agreed that, of all the lines of business, cyber is undergoing the most rapid transformation. It’s certainly a fast-moving space, but it’s riddled with challenges. For example, 62% of respondents listed ransomware as their top challenge for 2022. But what about a lack of data for pricing? Analysing the risk of third parties and supply chains?
Posted on Friday Jan 21

The gender pay gap in 2022 and how it affects your ESG score

Since the gender pay gap regulations first came into effect in April 2017, we have seen organisations report their figures with often little or no change in their reported pay gap. In 2021, the fourth year of reporting, that may have become a little embarrassing. This year it is different. The lack of progress could have significant financial consequences. As we head towards the 2022 gender pay gap deadline, what improvements can you make?
Posted on Thursday Jan 20

Changes in member communications for Pensions in 2022

Gowling WLG video looks at changesin member communications for pensions in 2022, including; stronger nudges to the Money and Pensions Service's Pension Wise guidance; introduction of simplified annual benefit statements for DC schemes used for automatic enrolment; and
a huge amount of work being carried out by the Pensions Dashboards Programme, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and The Pensions Regulator and the broader pensions industry to get workplace pension schemes ready for the launch of #PensionsDashboards from April 2023 onwards.

Posted on Wednesday Jan 19

Why its time for trustees to Pension Wise up

Salt and pepper, strawberries and cream or gin and tonic, all natural bedfellows. And new rules, set to come into force this year, aim to create a new partnership, one as synonymous as Laurel and Hardy, Cagney and Lacey, or Ant and Dec: accessing a pension and getting guidance. Since the introduction of pension freedoms in 2015, savers have had far greater flexibility to decide how and when they can access their defined contribution (DC) pension savings.
Posted on Monday Jan 17

Lets Talk Sustainability

In this episode, we present our practical guide for boards and leadership teams on sustainability, created in partnership with ecoDa to aid businesses on their sustainability journeys. Alexia Perversi, Director of Sustainability Services, Mazars UK and Gareth Jones, Partner, Global Head of Privately Owned Business, Mazars help break down the ins and outs of the guide and discuss the global demand for businesses to evolve and embrace lasting value creation that benefits all.
Posted on Friday Jan 14

The crocodiles jaws

One of my colleagues was telling me a “shaggy dog” story recently. Well, it was about a shaggy dog which had decided to lie down on her daughter’s bed after a long and very wet walk. Not only was the duvet cover soaked, but the actual duvet itself needed to be washed too. Unfortunately, the label said that it could only be washed in an industrial washing machine - so she couldn’t use the washing machine at home. Off she trooped to the laundrette, deciding to get her other duvets washed at the same time.
Posted on Friday Jan 14

Assessing the value of new data for insurance pricing

The value of data enrichment within insurance pricing and underwriting workflows is well-understood. The more predictive the data called on at quote, the more accurate the risk assessment process and therefore, the ability to segment, optimise and competitively price. This is all fine in principle but in practice how should the market assess the value of new data?
Posted on Thursday Jan 13

Im just a girl standing in front of a pensions dashboard

Ok, so dashboards aren’t the stuff of a rom com set in Notting Hill, but it does sound almost romantic in its simplicity, doesn’t it? I type my name, address, date of birth and National Insurance number into a pensions dashboard and up pops a list of my pension entitlements – showing me just what my future retirement might look like.
Posted on Tuesday Jan 11

Hodl tight when you crypto

As of mid-November 2021, despite minor crashes, cryptocurrencies have had a spectacular year. Bitcoin is up almost 100%, Ethereum nearly 500% and Dogecoin over a whopping 4,000% year-to-date. These are staggering rises – yet Shiba Inu has blown them out of the water, having risen more than 17,000,000%percent since its launch in August 2020. This is somewhat skewed by quite how little it was worth at the start, but even in October alone, it gained roughly 830%. To relative skeptics, like me, who find it hard to see beyond the Dutch tulip comparisons, these numbers are humbling.
Posted on Monday Jan 10

Expression of Wish and when it can go wrong

Recent figures from the ONS show higher than normal weekly death rates for the time of year, and its not apparently all down to covid . The pandemic has however concentrated people’s minds on financial planning and particularly what might happen to their families in the event of their death. Pension assets are of course very favourably treated and financial advisers can deliver considerable value to clients by providing comfort that the benefits will go to the people they want them to go to with the minimum of fuss.
Posted on Friday Jan 7

TPR powers and the single code of practice

In 2022, The Pensions Regulator (TPR) will gain additional powers on 6 April 2022 with the extension to the notifiable events regime to cover certain corporate transactions. This will require sponsoring employers and certain other individuals to notify The Pensions Regulator when a 'decision in principle' is made in relation to certain key corporate transactions. In addition, the notifiable events regime will be extended by the introduction of a new notifiable event in relation to certain corporate transactions. Finally, TPR will finalise its criminal sanctions and financial penalties policies.
Posted on Thursday Jan 6

M&A to stay strong in 2022 as valuations hit historic highs

Global dealmakers achieved their first positive M&A performance for a full year in 2021 since 2016, according to latest research on completed deals from Willis Towers Watson’s Quarterly Deal Performance Monitor (QDPM). Based on share-price performance, companies making M&A deals outperformed the World Index1 by +1.4pp (percentage points) on average.
Posted on Wednesday Jan 5

New value for money tests could see actuaries in demand

I’m sure many trustees are already looking toward 2022 and the need for smaller defined contribution pension schemes to carry out a value for members test. It’s certainly something we’ve been thinking about at Aviva, and it’s becoming increasingly obvious that in many cases it’s going to be far from straightforward. There’s going to be a need for advice, including some actuarial advice. At first glance the guidance from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) looks straightforward.
Posted on Tuesday Jan 4

Unintended consequences of Master Trust consolidation

Regulatory changes are reshaping the master trust market and the pressure to continue delivering value for money to customers while turning a profit has been building for some time. As a result, consolidation of the market has seemed somewhat inevitable. The defining questions are whether we are at the beginning of a wave of consolidation, and if so how will this change the market in the years to come?
Posted on Friday Dec 31

Continued importance of wellbeing and employee experience

BTS 21 looks at employee wellbeing and experience and their impact on employee benefits strategies and reveals the changes employers are planning to their benefits programmes to ensure employee wellbeing while optimising cost management.
Posted on Thursday Dec 30

Inflation risks as changeable as the British weather

When the clock hands on Big Ben ushered in 2021, it was under a dark cloud of post-covid recessionary risk. By the time schools broke for the summer, those recessionary clouds had broken. Gloomy economic forecasts had given way to much brighter and sunnier expectations. And now, as we head toward December’s festivities, with temperatures falling and frost forming, we find that inflation thermometer rising faster than anyone, economists and central bankers included, expected.
Posted on Thursday Dec 30

Freedom comes at a price

The introduction of pension freedoms in 2015 has probably been the most popular change to pension regulations in recent history. But with all freedoms come responsibilities. Putting people in charge of managing their finances in retirement means that they become liable for the complex task of ensuring that their savings last them until the end of their life. As financial planning is a complicated area, the average retiree needs a lot of assistance to do this successfully.
Posted on Wednesday Dec 29

Why trustee board meetings should be more uncomfortable

Earlier this year we set bold new ambitions to drive down inequality among savers and to create a fairer and more inclusive culture across the pensions industry. As the year draws to a close, I’d like to reflect on the progress we’ve made, and highlight areas where we think improvements can be made. Our Equality Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) strategy is a roadmap for change. We pledged to work with others across government and the industry to embed diversity and inclusion across pensions so that all savers are protected and outcomes improved.
Posted on Wednesday Dec 22

Risk mitigation as our climate changes

The 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow kept climate change firmly at the top of the news agenda. It followed a United in Science 2021 report in September which provided a stark warning of the impact and acceleration of climate change. Tackling climate change is a collective effort on the most enormous scale and every part of society can play its part.
Posted on Tuesday Dec 21

DB 2022 outlook things to look out for in the coming year

In a year where the first tentative steps back to the office were made, we’ve all had some time to contemplate and consider the ‘what ifs’. Certainly, in the pensions arena, 2021 was filled with discussions and debates about how to make DB pensions better. Now that the year is coming to a close, we can look ahead with hope that 2022 will finally be the year of getting things done, paving a new way for DB pensions.
Posted on Friday Dec 17

EY Global IFRS 17 KPIs survey

EY’s new survey explores changes to KPIs under IFRS 17 and recommends actions insurers should take now.
Posted on Thursday Dec 16

Higher severity motor claims during pandemic drive up costs

Motor claims payout inflation in the UK increased by over 6% during the first six months of 2021, taking the average cost per claim (ACPC) to £5,380(1), according to the latest Claim Metrics benchmarking data from Willis Towers Watson. Whilst lockdowns over the period Q2 2020 to Q1 2021 led to a drop in motor claim volumes, including unprecedented lows in some months, the cost of settling claims continued to increase during the pandemic.

Posted on Wednesday Dec 15

Could FTSE350 companies save billions taking Bespoke route

£15bn in deficit contributions could be collectively saved by FTSE 350 companies choosing the Bespoke funding route under TPR’s proposed new TPR funding regime, according to analysis in Hymans Robertson’s annual FTSE 350 DB Report. The report shows that 40% of FTSE 350 companies should consider this strategy, with the remaining 60% already sufficiently well-funded to instead follow TPR’s Fast Track approach with their existing funding strategy.
Posted on Tuesday Dec 14

Practical actions towards new zero underwriting

As global attention on COP26 reinforces the urgency of keeping global warming to 1.5C, a new paper from insurance leaders group ClimateWise maps out challenges and improvements to new independent underwriting tools to support the transition to a net zero economy. The report explores net zero for insurance underwriting and tests three currently available tools and frameworks designed to convert emissions reporting data into an intuitive degree Celsius metric, identify and support those insured organisations committed to executing robust transition plans, or enable a firm to build strategic, operational and underwriting practices to support net zero.
Posted on Monday Dec 13

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