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Insurance and Pensions Trends 2020

Recent Trends in the Insurance and Pensions Industries

What better way is there to discover the latest trends within the insurance industry and the pensions industry than by surveying actual practitioners in these fields? SimCorp begins with a roundtable discussion of insurance industry asset managers about trends such as increased regulatory pressure and the search for yield despite the prevailing low interest rate environment.

Other prominent surveys within these industries include the Thinking Ahead Institute's 'Asset Owner 100,' which provides insight into the portfolio characteristics of the world's top 100 asset owners, and pension-specific surveys, such as 'Global Pension Assets Study 2020' and MFS IM's 'U.S. Retirement Outlook.'

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Trends in Insurance Asset Management (SimCorp, 2020)

Via roundtable discussion, this SimCorp report details trends within the insurance asset management industry, including discussions of interest rates, Solvency II, unit-linked funds, and ESG.

Asset Owner 100: The most influential capital on the planet (Thinking Ahead Institute, 2020)

The Asset Owner 100 is a yearly report gathering data on the world's top 100 asset owners, including sections on both insurance companies and pension funds.

Solvency Regulations and Low-Risk Investing: A comparison (Robeco, 2020)

Can the low-risk anomaly within equity portfolios be partly explained by the treatment of solvency capital by insurance regulators? In this paper, Robeco examines solvency regulations for credit and equity risk.

How European insurance regulators are responding to climate risk (DWS AM, 2020)

For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in certain geographies

In this 10-page, DWS Asset Management paper, the authors examine insurance regulation on climate risk and the various approaches regulators have taken across the European Union.

Video: Why Does Infrastructure Matter to Insurers? (S&P Dow Jones Indices, 2019)

Insurers are increasingly looking at infrastructure investments as a core allocation. Experts from S&P DJI and Western Asset Management discuss why this is the case.

If low rates persist, what are insurers to do? (Wellington, Nov 2019)

Low yields (or even worse, negative yields) on bonds can severely affect insurance companies. Wellington Management examines how insurers can respond.

… Or How Insurance Companies Learned to Love Passive Investing (DWS AM, 2019)

DWS Asset Management looks at not just the use of ETFs by insurance companies to obtain certain exposures, but also the rise of customized passive mandates in insurers' general accounts.

International Catastrophe Pooling for Extreme Weather (SOA, 2019)

This SOA report studies the pooling of risk within the insurance industry to cover catastrophic losses from extreme weather events.

Weather, Climate & Catastophe Insight: 2019 annual report (Aon, Jan 2020)

Aon discusses the amount of global economic losses due to weather (and other natural events) in 2019. It was the fourth year in a row that losses from weather/climate/other catastrophes came in at over USD200billion or higher.


Global Pension Assets Study 2020 (Thinking Ahead Institute)

The latest Global Pension Assets study from the Thinking Ahead Institute covers 22 major pension markets, with even more detail about the largest 7 markets. These countries account for over 90% of total pension assets.

2019 Global Retirement Index (Natixis Investment Managers)

In addition to sequencing risk, Natixis looks at three of the key threats to retirement security for individuals - demographics, interest rates, and climate change.

Shifts for the DC organisation of tomorrow (Thinking Ahead Institute)

How is the defined contribution pension landscape changing around the world, and what do organisations consider to be best practices in this area?

The Forgotten Participant: Examining participant investment decision-making (Invesco, 2020)

For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in the United States

Most pension plan research focuses on the plan sponsors, but how are plan participants currently investing, and what more do they want out of their defined contribution plans?

International Pension Plan Survey 2019 (Willis Towers Watson)

Willis Towers Watson's 2019 survey of pension plans looks at almost US$ 16Billion in assets held within International Pension Plans and International Savings Plans.

U.S. Retirement Outlook (MFS IM, Jan 2020)

MFS looks at some of the key themes affecting US plan sponsors in 2020, including ESG issues, legislative changes, low growth, and demographics.

2020 U.S. Defined Contribution Trends Survey (Callan)

For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in the United States

Callan's 13th annual survey of DC trends includes responses from 114 plan sponsors, including information on participation rates, target date funds, investment vehicles, and fees.

Evolution of foreign investments by pension funds: 2020 Edition (PwC/ALFI)

The authors investigate the allocations of global pension fund assets, looking at trends and the increased desire to diversify into both international and alternative investments.

The Case for New Pension Accounting Standards in the U.S. (NCPERS, 2019)

For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in the United States

NCPERS critiques some of the current GASB accounting rules for pension funds and offers a few suggestions for improvements.

The New Social Contract: Achieving retirement equality for women globally (Aegon, 2019)

This report provides some recommendations for how women can close the gender pay gap, leading to better retirement outcomes. The report is based upon Aegon's annual Retirement Readiness Survey.