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UK and European Pensions - The Top White Papers of 2017

  • Posted by: ,  Chief Executive
  • 12 January 2018
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The Top 20 UK and European Pensions Papers of 2017

The following list is a mash-up of the winning UK and European pensions papers from the Savvy Investor Awards 2017, the most-consumed pensions reports from the last year, and a sprinkling of investment outlook sagacity tossed in for good measure.

The normalisation of the yield curve, combined with positive equity returns in 2017, should serve as a positive backdrop for the  pensions industry. However, the present funding gap remains a significant issue for DB pensions.

Savvy Investor

WINNER: UBS Asset Management - Pension Fund Indicators 2017
This annual report by UBS Asset Management aims to examine topical themes within the wider, long-term context. It provides helpful data, explanations, and insights into recent industry trends.

COMMENDED: Selecting Fund Managers & Consultants - What Do Trustees Look For? (Aon Hewitt)
This 11-page paper is a collaborative effort between Aon Hewitt and Leeds University Business School. It focuses on the relationship between UK defined benefit scheme trustees, their asset managers, and their investment consultants.

COMMENDED: Decomposing Funding-Ratio Risk: Key Insights for Pension Funds (BNP Paribas AM)
Authored by three researchers at BNP Paribas Asset Management, this paper focuses on funding-ratio risk, suggesting a framework that helps provide insights into its key elements.

COMMENDED: Integrated risk management for DB pension schemes (IFoA)
Using four case studies, this 70-page report by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries provides some helpful tips and hints for those developing Integrated Risk Management plans for UK DB schemes.

COMMENDED: Pensions: Why being cashflow negative is irrelevant to risk (KPMG)
Not being "cashflow negative" shouldn't be the centre of pension funds' focus. The authors explain what are, in their view, the real factors that pension schemes should be more concerned about.

Growth Readiness for Asset Owners: Power of Asset Intelligence (State Street)
How can institutional investors be more successful in protecting and growing the assets that have been entrusted to them? State Street identifies key areas that asset owners should prioritize to strengthen their growth strategies.

2018 Investment Outlook (Invesco)
(For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in the UK and Europe)
With all signs pointing towards a sustained global expansion, Invesco takes us on a tour of the outlook for global markets, discussing how they will adapt to the withdrawal of monetary stimulus.

Video: Exit door scenarios: how to guard against rising correlations (Fidelity)
(For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in the UK and Europe)
In this video, Fidelity experts consider how investors can position themselves for the end of a market cycle; in particular, how to prepare for the prospect of rising correlations in the event of a downturn.

2018 CIO Investment Outlook (Legal & General IM)
(For compliance reasons, this paper is not accessible in the US and Canada)
LGIM caution that 2018 will be defined by a tightening of monetary conditions, with the demographic drag reining in growth prospects. In this environment, investors should be wary of a more accurate pricing of risk premia.

The rise of ESG and Factor-Investing in Euro DC Pensions (Spence Johnson, 2017)
Despite the diversity of the European DC market, the integration of ESG and factor investing are common trends. This 9 page document drills deeper.

The world’s 300 largest pension funds (Willis Towers Watson, Sept 2017)
This detailed 47-page paper by Willis Towers Watson provides insight into the largest 300 pension funds in the world, including their growth and asset allocation.

Broken Promises: The Coming Global Pension Crisis (RWC)
Ian Lance looks at the extent to which different types of pensions across the globe are underfunded, the factors that led to this situation, and the potential implications dealing with the shortfall. This could have a deflationary impact.

Understanding Investment Committee Responsibilities (CFA Institute)
The CFA Institute Research Foundation provides a comprehensive discussion of investment issues relevant to investment trustees, such as governance policies, objectives, and performance assessments.

2017 Global Survey of Accounting Assumptions for DB Plans (Willis Towers Watson)
This report by Willis Towers Watson mainly explores economic assumptions for DB pension plans, especially mortality assumptions, due to increased longevity of participants.

Global Investment Management Fees: New Savings, New Challenges (bfinance)
New data from bfinance reveals an environment typified by the duality of falling fees across highly competitive sectors, yet new fashionable product launches such as unconstrained funds.

DB Pension Schemes: Raising cashflow awareness (LGIM)
(For compliance reasons, this paper is not accessible in the US and Canada)
According to recent research, over half of DB pension schemes globally are either cashflow negative or soon will be. LGIM explains how schemes can better manage their cashflows.

UK Pensions: Costs, Fees and Trustee Decision-Making (Aon Hewitt)
This 14-page paper examines the trustees of UK defined benefit pension schemes, specifically the extent to which they understand costs and fees in fund management.

ESG Risk in Default Funds: Analysis of the UK's DC Pension Market (PLSA, 2017)
This PSLA/Sustainalytics paper identifies passive strategies utilising ESG and increasingly active stewardship of companies as possible ways of mitigating risk within UK DC pension schemes.

Sizing up Europe's corporate pension gap (Invesco)
(For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in the UK and Europe)
Due to declining bond yields, Europe's DB pension schemes are experiencing funding gaps. Frequent UK regulatory oversight adds even more pressure to such schemes, calling for increased scrutiny. Invesco investigates.

FTSE 350 DB Pension Scheme Survey 2017 (Willis Towers Watson)
This 2017 Willis Towers Watson report discusses the impact of defined benefit pension schemes on company accounts (as at 31 December 2016) and how companies are managing their pensions risk.

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