All topics

Pensions, Portfolio Construction and Conferences

Top Papers and Upcoming PLSA Conferences

The global pensions landscape is undergoing significant change right now. Portfolio construction strategies are being challenged by the complexities of some major structural shifts such as climate change, sponsor solvency, declining long-term returns, increasing longevity, and market volatility. The Savvy Investor Content Team has included some of the top recent pensions white papers on these themes in this latest blog post.

In addition, we’ll be attending the upcoming PLSA virtual conferences. For more details about the PLSA's 2021 Conference schedule, please click here. We'd love to 'see' you there – perhaps in person later in the year!

jenga tower coins


PENSIONS PAPERS


Annual Survey of UK DC Schemes (The Pensions Regulator, 2020)

The 2020 Annual survey of DC schemes by The Pensions Regulator offers insights into the responses of over 200 schemes, suggesting that trustees of DC schemes need to focus on the risks and opportunities presented by climate change.

Podcast: Living longer – Can we afford it? (Baillie Gifford, 2020)

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

In this podcast, Baillie Gifford’s Steven Hay explores the implications of increasing longevity and how it might impact on investing and financing the post-retirement years.

Pensions Schemes Bill Receives Royal Assent (Actuarial Post, Feb 2021)

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

The UK's long-awaited Pension Schemes Bill recently became law. The new Act gives greater powers to The Pensions Regulator, and schemes will have to consider the impact on climate change of investments made on behalf of members. Directors, lenders and pension trustees can in certain circumstances, also become potentially criminally liable for unscrupulous activities.

Cookie Cutter or Custom? Rethinking fixed income in DC plans (Wellington Management, Feb 2021)

For plan sponsors, a customisable, multi-manager solution for fixed income may offer attractive benefits, enabling DC sponsors to offer a more compelling proposition for plan participants.

Assessing Climate Competency of Investment Consultants (ICSWG, 2021)

This guide from the Investment Consultants Sustainability Working Group (ICSWG) is designed to assist trustees assess investment consultants’ climate competency. Examples of positive and best practice indicators are included to help in this assessment.

2020 US Defined Contribution Plan Sponsor Survey (Willis Towers Watson)

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

Willis Towers Watson explores several challenges and opportunities that an evolving DC landscape, particularly in the US, poses for plan sponsors.

FTSE350 DB Pensions Analysis 2020 (Hymans Robertson)

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

Hymans Robertson’s analysis of FTSE 350 company DB pension schemes examines both the shorter term and longer term impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on corporate solvency and sponsor credit risk.

Tackling Climate Change: A guide for UK DB schemes (Hymans Robertson, 2021)

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

This guide from Hymans Robertson strongly suggests that DB decision-makers put climate change to the top of their agendas as it is fast becoming a key risk for many schemes. The guide also explores the many opportunities that decisions makers should look to exploit.

The DC Landscape: The expanding role of OCIOs (PGIM Defined Contribution, 2020)

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

PGIM looks at the ways in which DC schemes are evolving and adapting to meet new challenges. One such area is that of outsourced services, and especially the provision of OCIO (Outsourced Chief Investment Officers). This paper offers insights into the current landscape.

US Pension Asset Allocation and Risk Management Using Futures (Vanguard, 2020)

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

Vanguard investigates the options available for to plan sponsors considering the use of Treasury futures as a way of managing interest rate and market risk.


PORTFOLIO CONSTRUCTION PAPERS


Moving to a Paris-Aligned Benchmark – Portfolio implications (Qontigo, 2020)

Qontigo illustrates the many and varied implications for portfolio managers of switching to a fully Paris-Aligned Benchmark (PAB) portfolio from a current market-cap weighted (CWB) portfolio.

Total Portfolio Approach: A new method of portfolio construction (SimCorp, 2020)

This paper by SimCorp argues that compared to traditional Strategic Asset Allocation (SAA) methodologies, the Total Portfolio Approach (TPA) offers a more flexible option when dealing with volatile and unpredictable markets.

Portfolio Protection: One size fits none (Janus Henderson, 2021)

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

Janus Henderson Investors notes the upsurge in investor interest in protection strategies since the pandemic-induced market volatility. This is despite many research papers suggesting that the negative carry cost outweighs the benefits.

Building Resilient Portfolios (WisdomTree Investments, 2020)

For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in the UK & Europe

WisdomTree explores how investors might approach the opposing forces of portfolio protection, whilst still retaining upside potential. They suggest several solutions including dynamic asset allocation (DAA) rebalancing between cyclical and defensive assets, or via the selection of asymmetric defensive assets.

Does Rebalancing Still Make Sense? (Intech, 2020)

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

Research by Intech shows that longer term outperformance for investors can still be achieved by rebalancing portfolios, though the authors admit that the potential for shorter term headwinds still exists.


CONFERENCES


Virtual Event 9-11 Mar 2021: PLSA Investment Conference

The PLSA Investment Conference is where CIOs, trustees, investment board members, pension managers, finance professionals and their advisers gain insight on the major trends and events affecting UK investors and markets. This event brings the whole of the £2 trillion UK pensions investment chain together for a themed programme of speeches, discussions, and educational sessions.

Virtual Event 18-19 May 2021: PLSA Local Authority Conference

The PLSA Local Authority Conference is the largest of its kind dedicated to the Local Government Pension Scheme. Join their virtual Conference and learn more about the unique and complex challenges the LGPS faces and hear about pioneering work being done by the scheme, both in ESG and its quest for value for money.

related content