Defined Contribution Conference Statement

Despite our best efforts to deliver our Defined Contribution Conference we have taken the decision to postpone this event and plan for a safe and successful event on 20 October 2020.

The current global situation unfolding around COVID-19 presents too much risk and our first priority is to protect the health and well-being of our delegates, sponsors and staff along with the quality of the event and we hope that you will support us in this decision and continue to join us on the new date.

If you are already registered, we will automatically move your booking to 20 October 2020 and we will communicate further updates in due course. If you would like to join us on the 20 October 2020, please register as normal and we will process your registration.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused and look forward to welcoming you at the event.

Defined Contribution Conference

Evolving DC offerings to members

The past year has been one of change for defined contribution pension schemes. The Pensions Regulator completed its authorisation regime, with 38 master trusts meeting its new standards. Minimum auto-enrolment contribution rates increased from 5% to 8% last April and there has also been significant progress on the pensions dashboard and much thinking on how to reinvigorate DC investment strategies.

This year will see an evolution of DC pension schemes. Investment strategies will increasingly look to become more ESG focused as well as looking towards alternatives such as private markets and infrastructure. Communications will become ever more sophisticated as schemes and employers ready themselves for the dashboard as well as look to engage members better with their pensions. There will also be an increasing focus on the value for money of individual schemes as well as more thinking on how members should invest their pots as they approach, and enter, retirement.

Professional Pensions’  Spring Defined Contribution Conference will address these themes, and more; with presentations from industry experts and providers, as well as a wealth of networking opportunities.

Join us for a day of insight and information. We look forward to seeing you there.

This event is working towards the International Standard ISO 20121 and follows guidance set out by the Sustainable Event Alliance (SEA)

Time until the event

Who should attend?

Professional Pensions  welcomes delegates from the following job types:


Pension Scheme Managers

Pension Scheme Administrators

Pensions Communication Specialists

Chairs of Trustees

HR Directors/Managers


Financial Directors




    Chair’s opening remarks

    James Phillips, Deputy Editor, Professional Pensions

    Opening keynote

    Louise Sivyer, Policy Manager, Regulatory Policy Directorate, The Pensions Regulator

    The changing face of contract-based schemes

    Much of the focus over the past 12 months has been on master trust accreditation. But contract-based schemes have been evolving also. This session will look at how contract-based schemes are changing to meet member needs and the innovation we can expect to see in future.

    Current State of DC and its Future Wellbeing

    • Developments and trends in DC design to improve member outcomes

    • Integrating long term savings into broader financial wellbeing strategy

    John Foster, Principal Consultant, Aon

    Morning networking break
    DC is a 'false' pension without a framework for members to draw their money

    Annuities, Drawdown and Cash all contain significant risks – what lessons can we learn and what should the UK be developing to help its DC members?

    Mark Futcher, Partner and Head of DC and Workplace Wealth, Barnett Waddingham

    The master trust advantage

    Employers are increasingly turning towards DC master trusts as a way in which to reduce the burden of running schemes as well as minimising costs and out-of-market exposures. This session looks at some of the benefits of a flexible master trust approach and assesses approaches to default investment design both to and through into retirement as well as different glide path designs and the benefits of passive or active investing.

    Integrating ESG into a multi-asset portfolio

    Multi-asset strategies play a vital role in DC defaults; delivering long term returns while managing investment risk. As our understanding of the risks associated with ESG evolves, it is important that multi-asset solutions take account of these risks. However managing wide ranging ESG risks across multiple asset classes is challenging. In this session we will introduce the concept of a sustainability budget and explain how this can form part of the process to integrate ESG into a multi-asset portfolio. Tim Horne,

    Tim Horne, Head of UK Institutional Defined Contribution, Schroders

    Preparing for a comfortable retirement

    Some three-in-four staff are likely to miss out on a comfortable retirement – something that is causing increasing concern for employers and trustees. But what can they do to help DC members to address this lack of saving and improve outcomes? This session takes a look at how schemes can assess, communicate and guide their way to better member outcomes and improve the ROI of DC spend.

    Greer Flanagan, Actuary and Senior DC Consultant, Hymans Robertson

    An alternative approach

    Defined benefit schemes have long taken advantage of investing in illiquid and alternative assets, but DC schemes have often lagged in their adoption of these asset classes. However, the addition of illiquid investments to DC portfolios could help improve member outcomes and offer better return potential to members over the long term. We will discuss current challenges to inclusion and how these could be overcome.

    Lessons from near and afar

    AE has brought more than ten million people into pension saving since its launch in 2012. But, while it has been a success, there is still much to do, especially in DC pensions, where contributions are often too low, coverage is still far from complete and investment, in both the accumulation and decumulation space, is evolving. This session looks at latest thinking in DC design and takes a look at trends among both leading edge UK and overseas schemes.

    Afternoon networking break
    Governance matters

    Operational effectiveness and good governance are vital for pension stability, nowhere more so than DC schemes, where efficiency can significantly improve the bottom line and member outcomes. This practical session will help trustees assess how well their pension scheme runs, looking at:

    • How trustees, sponsors and advisers can work effectively
    • How to drive efficient decision-making
    • Planning for opportunities and threats
    • The value of a robust business plan
    Thematic investments
    Closing keynote: Successful engagement

    How do we get members to fully engage with their employee benefits and realise the full value of what they are offered? How do we keep them engaged over time? Our speaker will look at some of the latest work in this area - and leave us with a few practical tricks to improve the way we talk to members.

    Closing remarks from the chair

    Please note: this programme is subject to change


    Actuary and Senior DC Consultant
    Hymans Robertson
    Principal Consultant
    Partner and Head of DC and Workplace Wealth
    Barnett Waddingham
    Head of UK Institutional Defined Contribution
    Policy Manager, Regulatory Policy Directorate
    The Pensions Regulator
    Fund manager, Indirect Property
    Kames Capital


    For programme queries contact:
    Paige Reeves
    Conference Manager
    +44 (0)20 7484 9810
    For sponsorship queries contact:
    Liam Barrett
    Sales Director
    +44 (0)20 7484 9977
    For registration & media partnership queries:
    Ellie Harris
    Marketing Executive
    +44 (0)20 7484 9713