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Global Pensions Update: September 2021

Top Recent Papers on Global Pensions

Post-pandemic market moves fuelled by a glut of liquidity finds most pension funds with much better funding ratios than they had a year ago. That said, asset owners still face a range of challenges, not least that of climate change, arguably the next most pressing problem to resolve.

This selection of recent pension-related content that has appeared on Savvy Investor features the adoption and integration of ESG and climate risk frameworks into portfolios as well as post-Covid stress tests for U.S. public pensions. Stronger pension funding ratios give some funds the flexibility to venture further afield in search of investment returns, with emerging markets among those being considered.      

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How Asset Owners Can Go from Net Zero to Climate Leadership (BCG, 2021)

This paper from BCG illustrates how keen some asset owners are to sign up to net-zero portfolios, while others are seeking to have an influence via the adoption of impact investing frameworks.

Feeling Opportunistic, Pensions Look to Emerging Markets (Invesco, Aug 2021)

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

Invesco suggests that a significant minority of U.S. pension funds are more optimistic about investing in emerging markets, though these investors are outweighed by those with a negative or cautious view on the asset class.

Public Pensions, Post-Pandemic (BlackRock, Jul 2021)

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

After a year of navigating uncharted terrain, public pensions entered 2021 looking ahead to a post-pandemic recovery, but the far-reaching implications of Covid-19 on governments has added additional pressures for plans to generate adequate investment performance.

Amundi Pension Funds Letter N°12 (Amundi, Jul 2021)

For compliance reasons, this paper is NOT accessible in the United States

Amundi highlights several recent weather events and suggests that the proximity of the COP26 conference may be a good place to engender real change to the climate crisis. They note that pension investors, as significant global asset owners, have a significant role to play.

Future of UK DC Pension Market: Case for Greater Consolidation (PLSA, 2021)

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

PLSA’s document outlines the current state of the UK DC market following the recent Department for Work and Pensions report into further consolidation and how it might affect pension savers.

Member Impact of Accelerated UK DB Pension Scheme Closures (PPI, 2021)

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

This paper from the Pensions Policy Institute looks at the potential impact on members of an accelerated closure of DB schemes.

Hiring and Firing: Aligning asset owners with asset managers (2021)

The authors of this paper introduce a framework to better align the interests of asset owners with asset managers by determining optimal asset strategies across asset classes.

Integrated ESG and Thematic Portfolio Strategies (Greenwich Associates, 2021)

Greenwich Associates notes the commitment to the UN Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI) and ponders the challenges faced by institutions in integrating ESG criteria into existing processes and portfolios.

Stress Testing U.S. Public Pensions Post Covid-19 (Pew Charitable Trusts, 2021)

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

This paper suggests that U.S. state pension funds should undergo stress testing to better inform retirement systems and state budgets about potential liabilities and costs.

An Asset Owner's Guide to Multi-Manager Portfolio Management (Nissay AM, 2021)

Nissay outlines the difficulties that asset owners and consultants have in finding consistent outperforming managers, introduces some aspects of multi-asset portfolio management and offers suggestions as to how asset owners might improve portfolios.


Virtual Event 12-14 Oct 2021: PLSA Annual Conference

PLSA's Annual Conference is a virtual event this year and the programme covers the economic, political, and social environment, current practical and technical challenges for pension funds, and key trends of the future for the industry.