Please note: this programme is subject to change

Welcome and Opening Remarks
Looking at The Bigger Picture: What’s on The Horizon For DB Schemes?

One in five DB schemes see diversity issues as a "governance burden" and are unlikely to act until they are formally required to do so. Additionally, a surprising number of schemes have admitted they struggle to prioritise DEI compared to other issues. Additionally, whilst larger schemes have begun TCFD reporting, schemes of a smaller size still have this yet to come, all whilst partaking in responsible investing. Plus, with a reset for the pensions dashboard, schemes have been given more time to prepare. However, with limited resources and enough on their plate as it is, how much is too much? And how can schemes adapt to the challenges ahead?

This session will address:

  • What are DB schemes currently working on now and how can schemes of various sizes adapt this to what they are doing?
  • What was TCFD reporting like for schemes so far and what are the do’s and don’ts of TCFD reporting?
  • What ways can DB schemes of various sizes improve their responsible investing?
  • What examples of DB schemes are out there that have implemented strategies to improve DEI issues?
  • What can schemes do to best prepare for the dashboard onboarding process?
Investments Used to Be Easy…

Roll back 15 years and the investment decisions a trustee needed to make were primarily around the asset classes to invest in and to create a real return for the scheme. The advent of LDI allowed trustees to start thinking more about how the investment strategy and funding journey could be aligned. However, there is now so much more required of trustees when considering the investment strategy and approach of the scheme.

This session will address:

1. Portfolio constructs:

  • LDI Considerations
  • Increasing efficiency and delivering value in the portfolio
  • Retaining flexibility in the portfolio
  • ESG Considerations

2. Responsible investment approach

  • Can/should the scheme's RI approach be aligned to the sponsors RI aims for their own business
  • Data requirements
  • TCFD reporting
  • Future reporting on the way 
Time Is Money: The Importance of Efficient Admin

Administration represents the public face of pensions and cultivates the interaction between a member and their savings. Over the next 40 years or so, administrators will manage the payment of more than £1.6trn of DB scheme liabilities and it is a serious problem when the administration of a scheme goes wrong. In 2023, the top targets for trustees will be buyout, dashboards, GMPE and improving member communications. Poor administration can lead to costly delays; Time is money, so schemes must avoid delays at all costs.

This session will address:

  • Do we have enough administration to take us through endgame?
  • How can we manage admin more effectively with schemes looking to buyout much sooner than expected?
  • Are dashboards a thorn in the side for administrators?
  • What needs to be done from a pension administrator perspective, to smoothly connect to pensions dashboards?
  • How can administrators support clients through upcoming deadlines such as GMPE?
Networking Break
The Art of the Endgame: Painting Your Pension Plan's Future

Investment consultants have been heavily relied on following the repercussions of the mini-budget and the immediate actions the market shock prompted. Despite this, many schemes have already watched their funding level climb throughout 2022, making their endgame look closer than before. So how can schemes adapt to new strategies to ensure their endgame journey is as smooth as possible and what other challenges will they face along the way?

This session will address: 

  • What might an endgame investment strategy look like?
  • How do schemes transition to a new endgame strategy as smoothly as possible?
  • How can you ensure your investments are doing what you need them to do to keep you on your buyout journey?
  • What are the different challenges for small, medium and large schemes in the current buyout marketplace?
  • What will the market look like in the next 10 years?
Lawful Lifelines: The Legal Lowdown on Staying Above Water

A solid understanding of laws and regulations is essential for pension professionals to effectively fulfil their roles, ensure compliance, manage risks, and provide valuable guidance to both scheme sponsors and participants. This knowledge is critical for protecting the interests of sponsors and members in the complex and highly regulated field of retirement planning. DB Professionals should stay updated on legal and regulatory changes to adapt pension schemes when necessary and take advantage of new opportunities or benefits. You can stay informed about the latest developments in pension scheme legislation and regulations by joining Professional Pensions in this panel discussion.

This session will address: 

  • How does knowledge of laws and regulations help pension professionals ensure plan compliance and fulfil fiduciary duty
  • How has the legal and regulatory environment for DB schemes evolved over time, and affected DB schemes?
  • What legal updates should DB professionals be aware of?
  • What does the future legal and regulatory landscape look like for DB schemes?
Mind the Gap: Why Effective Member Record Maintenance Is Critical to End Game Planning!

End game planning is now on the agenda for most DB Schemes – whether you’re at the beginning of the journey or nearing the end, like the underground, there are many stops and stations to go through before reaching the destination. This session will explore why the often-neglected areas of administration and maintenance of accurate member records are vital to get to your destination without unnecessary delay and cost. We will explore some of the challenges that schemes face, both through the journey and at the end station, as well as providing practical solutions to ensure member records are accurately maintained, and how they can be cost effectively managed with other projects.

The LDI Renaissance: What Have We Learnt, and What’s Changed?

A year on post LDI crisis, Liability Driven Investment remains the buzzword venturing through 2023. The treatment of LDI has highlighted interesting issues for the industry and questions our awareness of the danger of our decisions. Most schemes who would have historically sought to deploy assets into illiquid assets, have now come across many liquidity challenges. Many are now left wondering if we can afford to have LDI and growth investments in the new world we're in. Most importantly, What now for LDI?

This session will address:

  • What is the pensions landscape like post LDI crisis?
  • How efficient is LDI and how much place does it have for less well funded schemes?
  • How had the LDI crisis affected schemes investment strategies?
  • What can the industry learn from watching the LDI crisis play out, and how can we implement these learnings?
  • Is LDI going to be more tightly regulated?
Burning Questions: A Fireside Chat Discussing the Latest DB Scheme Developments

In recent years, TPR has been responsible for a multitude of aspects of the pensions industry: Regulating master trusts, focussing on improving retirement outcomes, developing guidance for protecting members from scams and fraud, and playing a key role in the development of Pensions Dashboards. Lately, TPR has also been developing the General Code, implementing change for more diversity in trusteeship, giving guidance surrounding the gilts market, and amended its guidance on defined benefit superfunds. With so much going on, it's never too soon to update your knowledge, clarify your concerns and prepare for what TPR have instore for 2023.

Closing Remarks