This event has now taken place but you can download the slides by clicking on the PDF icon below:
Many thanks to Pension Insurance Corporation for hosting:
"PENSIONS AND THE POLICYMAKERS"
If you haven't been to a Transparency Symposium before you can use the link below to read testimonials:
When and where is the symposium?
Why are we running this event?
This Transparency Symposium is an important thought leadership event dedicated to discussing and debating the many pension policy initiatives impacting the pensions market right now.
The inspiration behind the event is the idea that there is so much change happening within the world of pensions that it makes sense to take stock of what is going on, pause for thought and reflect, reconsider and refocus on what modifications to pensions policy ought to be made, if any.
We’ll be shining a bright light on the realities of the hottest pensions topics around and we'll be giving delegates ample opportunity to fully engage with the issues and feed in their points of view; both at the event and through a White Paper.
The symposium will feature input from a first class line-up of participants including senior representatives from The Pensions Regulator.
The underlying questions the event will seek to answer are:
"Ideas to help improve Pensions Policy"
All delegates at the event will have the opportunity write a stand-alone section in TTF's White Paper entitled "Ideas to help improve Pensions Policy."
This will be an excellent opportunity for us to capture the ideas, creativity and thought leadership initiatives that will be discussed during the symposium; and it will be a great way to get a constructive message through to the key pensions policymakers.
The White paper will be entitled "Ideas to help improve Pensions Policy" and we'll be sending it to:
All contributions to our White Paper will be fully attributed (name, title, organisation name and organisation logo).
So, if you have thoughts on how pensions policy could be improved please give some thought to how you might want to articulate your ideas within the White Paper. Note there is a maximum of 1,000 words per idea; and a maximum of 3 ideas per organisation.
Get in touch if you have any questions about the White Paper -
What's the format going to be?
To provide the maximum opportunity for all delegates to get fully involved we have structured the event around keynote presentations plus hot topic panel sessions that will be useful platforms for sharing thought leadership whilst also enabling lively discussion and debate.
Here's the programme in full:
- Registration, refreshments and networking
- Welcome from Pension Insurance Corporation
- Andy Agathangelou, Founding Chair, Transparency Task Force
- “Pioneering the Pan-European Pension Product and the Pan European Workplace/Occupational Pension," presented by Dr. Francesco Briganti, Secretary General of CBBA - Europe.
A must-attend session if you want to be up to speed on the potential for recent developments in Europe to impact UK pensions policy.
Dr. Briganti is at the very epicentre of an important initiative already underway to make the Pan-European Pension Product (PEPP) a reality.
Francesco will bring us right up to speed on what is happening in Mainland Europe and how developments over there are likely to impact the pensions market over here. He will be guiding us through the key questions such as:
Furthermore, did you know:
- “The Department for Work and Pensions' White Paper - Protecting Defined Benefit Pension Schemes," presented by Neil Esslemont, Head of Industry Liaison, The Pensions Regulator.
The government believes the vast majority of UK employers run their business responsibly, displaying high standards in corporate governance and fulfilling their responsibilities to their employees and their pension funds. The system is working well for the majority of Defined Benefit schemes, trustees and sponsoring employers, but a tougher approach is needed for those few whose irresponsible decisions impact on their pension scheme.
We will explain the plans to strengthen the regulatory framework and TPR’s powers to act against employers who fail to treat schemes fairly.
- "Consolidating the DB consolidation agenda," presented by Patrick Bloomfield, Partner, Hymans Robertson LLP
There is no doubt that DB consolidation is fast becoming a focus of pensions policymaking. Patrick will shine a light on this complex area and share his personal insights on the realities of the situation. The points he’ll be covering will include:
- Refreshments and networking break
- Power Panel #1: “The Work & Pension Committee’s Final Report on Pension Freedoms and Choice”– which bits, if any, would you disagree with?
Are Pension Freedoms unfortunately a very good example of what can happen through "poor policy process risk"? - listening to a victim of pension scamming might help to shape your view!
To say that Pension Freedoms and Choice has been impactful would be an extreme understatement. Freedoms shocked the pensions industry when they were introduced; and some of their outcomes have been shocking us ever since, so much so that some believe they are a very good example of what can go horribly wrong when pension policy is developed in a rush, without adequate consultation and consensus-building; and with what sometimes seemed to have been a nonchalant disregard for the potentially very serious unintended consequences.
We’ll be hearing from a range of individuals with strong views on this topic; including a very unfortunate victim of a serious pension scam.
Frank Field and his Committee have been particularly busy on Freedoms, taking a forensic look into a remarkably wide range of topics, shining a light on many serious policy questions relating to protecting savers, empowering savers to choose and developing a better pensions freedoms market.
Our panel will be exploring those policy areas and dealing with questions such as:
- Awarding of the Transparency Trophy - who will be the winner of this symposium's trophy?
- Lunch and networking
- “The Pension Regulator’s work on New Master Trust legislation and market authorisation" presented by Jeremy Leslie-Smith, Industry Liaison Manager, The Pensions Regulator.
The Pension Schemes Act 2017 increases the regulation of master trusts, which now account for around 10 million members. From 1 October this year, master trust pension schemes will have six months to apply for authorisation from The Pensions Regulator, in order to continue operating.
We will explain how master trusts are expected to meet the new authorisation criteria, what happens if they do not - and the potential consequences on the market.
- “Extremely important lessons from Down-Under that we ignore at our peril,” presented by Nicholas Morris, Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales, Sydney.
Are we about to needlessly repeat avoidable policy mistakes?
This session will explain why there is much wisdom in the UK taking a look at how pensions policy in Australia has been reworked in recent years in response to the realities of the situation there; particularly in relation to pension freedoms and auto enrolment.
- Power Panel #2: “An Alternative AE Review”– what really needs to happen for the ongoing success of AE to be free from jeopardy?
Is AE actually the shiny policy success it is made out to be?
The success of AE to date is often championed as a major policy victory that reflects well on the policymakers responsible and the consistent cross-party support it has received. However, given the vital part that AE plays in helping to solve our nation’s pensions crisis, it must make sense to consider AE’s many points of vulnerability, in an attempt to proactively tackle potential problems that might scupper AE’s sustained success.
With those objectives in mind our panel will deal constructively with questions such as:
- Refreshments and networking break
- Power Panel #3: "Collective Defined Contribution - should it be allowed?"
This is a red hot topic right now; with strong opposing views. Does CDC represent the ultimate optimised future for pensions in our country? - or might it undermine the stability in the system that is desperately needed?
CDC has been a hot topic all year as a result of the fascinating progress at Royal Mail and the way the Work and Pensions Committee has investigated the subject. However, it remains a topic that divides opinion so this session will be a great opportunity to get to grips with what CDC really would mean for the UK’s pensions market.
The panel will be dealing with questions such as:
- Open discussion, key conclusions, wrap-up and close to the formal proceedings. What else do you have strong views on?
- Drinks, nibbles and networking
- Final close.
Who shouldn't miss this symposium?
This symposium is going to bravely attempt to deal with questions of immense importance to the pensions industry so in many ways it's a not-to-be missed event for anybody that has an interest in the sector.
Furthermore, because we have structured the event mainly around hot topic panel sessions that will enable lively discussion and debate, the event will be a particularly good opportunity for those that want to express their own views as well as having the chance to absorb the insights, experiences and perspectives of others.
We're expecting it to be a very stimulating, engaging and thought-provoking session, which, if all goes to plan will feed many constructive and consensus-based ideas straight into the key Regulators and Policymakers.
This event will be especially valuable to:
About the key participants
(Others being added)
Head of Industry Liaison,
The Pensions Regulator.
Neil and his team are responsible for engaging with suppliers of products, services and advice, as well as employers, regarding their understanding and readiness for workplace pensions reform.
Our aim is to help them fully understand their own or their client’s duties, including the duty to automatically enrol eligible workers into a pension scheme; and the duties of trustees in both the public and private sector.
Neil has over 30 years’ experience in dealing with large companies in both private and public sector. Neil has previously worked as a client director for BT and Siemens, and as a management consultant for PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
Neil has a technology background in computer software engineering, gained after graduating from Exeter University with a Maths & Physics BSc.
Neil will be presenting the session on “The Department for Work and Pensions' White Paper - Protecting Defined Benefit Pension Schemes."
Dr. Francesco Briganti,
Cross Border Benefits Alliance - Europe.
Dr. Briganti is currently the Secretary General of the Cross Border Benefits Alliance-Europe, a new EU advocacy organization promoting the development of cross border and pan-European employee benefits plans vis à vis the European and National decision makers.
Francesco is also the CEO of Employee Benefits and Welfare Institute, a Brussels based public affairs company, and the Coordinator of the World Pension Alliance, a platform of the main worldwide pensions advocacy organizations.
He is also a member of the Occupational Pensions Stakeholder Group (OPSG) of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) and Chair of the Italian branch of the International Employee Benefits Association.
Francesco is a former Director of AEIP, and he has been serving as lobbyist in EU affairs related to insurance and employee benefits matters for 12 years.
Francesco holds a Ph.D focused on the legal creation of a pan-European employee benefits plan.
Dr. Briganti will be presenting - “Pioneering the Pan-European Pension Product and the Pan European Workplace/Occupational Pension."
The Financial Services Consumer Panel.
Sue chairs the Financial Services Consumer Panel. She is a Trustee of StepChange debt charity and of The People’s Pension.
She is also a member of the Chartered Insurance Institute Professional Standards Board, the Chartered Banker Professional Standards Board, and the Fair Banking assessment panel.
Her overseas work includes consultancy advice on financial education, financial inclusion and consumer protection regulation.
Sue spent most of her career as a senior civil servant, advising Government Ministers on a range of policy issues including financial services, early years, children and young people, and gender equality.
Sue will be participating in the panel session on “The Work & Pension Committee’s Final Report on Pension Freedoms and Choice.”
Partner and Scheme Actuary,
Hymans Robertson LLP.
Patrick is a Partner and Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.
He has two decades of actuarial experience, over half as a scheme actuary. He has particularly strong sector expertise with charities, outsourcers, retailers and industrials.
Patrick is an excellent communicator with a track record of giving sound commercial advice that balances the interest of sponsors and members.
He is a frequent spokesperson on topical pensions issues and has appeared in the press and on TV. He is also a careers advisor for the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries and a member of the Association of Consulting Actuaries' Public Relations Committee.
Patrick will be presenting the session on "Consolidating the DB consolidation agenda."
Founder of Pension PlayPen;
Director at First Actuarial.
56 years old , twice married, one son. Cambridge Graduate , Icelandic fisherman, failed management consultant. Rugby player, oarsman and double bassist.
Tries most things once- usually badly.
Henry will be aprticipating in our panel session on "Should CDC be allowed?"
Kate Upcraft Consultancy Ltd.
Kate Upcraft AMBCS mGPA is a regular conference speaker, lecturer and writer on legislative issues, including tax and National Insurance, benefits and the whole range of employer compliance responsibilities.
She undertakes consultancy work with employers and payroll agents assisting them with topics such as payroll health checks, RTI and auto-enrolment, systems selection and departmental re-engineering.
Kate is vice Chair of the ICAEW Employment Taxes and NI committee and Chair of the pan-professional Reward and Employment Engagement Forum
Prior to setting up her own company in 2005, she was the Payroll Legislation Manager at M&S, for whom she worked for 20 years, eleven of them in payroll.
Kate will be aprticipating in our panel session on "An Alternative AE Review."
Industry Liaison Manager,
The Pensions Regulator.
Jeremy is part of the Industry Liaison team at The Pensions Regulator. In this role he was previously responsible for engaging with many of the UK's largest employers to help them understand the new 'automatic enrolment' duties.
Since early 2013, Jeremy’s primary responsibility has been to oversee the preparation of the financial services industry for automatic enrolment. This involves engaging with many of the UK’s financial adviser firms and pension scheme providers as well as speaking at events for various industry specialists.
Jeremy is the primary contact for the Master Trusts as they prepare for authorisation under The Pensions Act 2017 or exit the market.
Before joining the regulator, Jeremy worked within the financial services industry for 22 years and has extensive experience of dealing with companies in both the private and public sector.
Jeremy will be presenting the session on “The Pension Regulator’s work on New Master Trust legislation and market authorisation."
Retired Partner at
Slaughter & May.
Philip Bennett retired as a partner at Slaughter and May at the end of December, 2017 after more than 30 years advising large employers and pension funds on the UK legal and pensions tax related aspects of their pension plans, including some of the largest pension plan mergers and restructurings and benefit design change exercises.
He is a former chair of the UK’s Association of Pension Lawyers’ Legislative and Parliamentary Sub-committee, a former chair of the International Pension and Employee Benefits Lawyers Association and a former member of Pensions Europe’s Defined Contribution and Defined Benefit Working Parties.
Philip has had an interest, for a number of years, in target benefit and CDC pension plans, which he is maintaining post December, 2017.
He was called to provide evidence to the UK Parliament’s Work and Pensions Committee’s inquiry into Collective defined contribution pension schemes in March, 2018 and, jointly with Professor Hans van Meerten, has published, also in March, 2018, a paper “Apples and oranges: a comparison of the key features of the legislative and regulatory framework for UK and Dutch defined benefit pension schemes (including Dutch CDC Schemes).
Philip will be participating in our panel session on "Should CDC be allowed?"
Vice Chair of Ark.
Susan was the first member of Ark Class Action and became the Vice Chairwoman of Ark; having become a victmi of a very serious pension scam.
Susan has been a BBC Television Employee for 17 years.
Susan will be participating in our panel session on “The Work & Pension Committee’s Final Report on Pension Freedoms and Choice.”
Dr. Nicholas Morris,
University of New South Wales,
Dr. Morris is an Adjunct Professor of the law faculties of UNSW, Sydney, and Latrobe, Melbourne; a visiting fellow at the Martin School, Oxford; and a guest professor at the China Executive Leadership Academy, Pudong, China.
He has been Deputy Director of the UK Institute for Fiscal Studies; Chief Executive and Chairman of various economic consultancies including London Economics; a visiting fellow at Balliol and St Anthony’s Colleges in Oxford, and at Melbourne University; and has led numerous projects in developing countries.
Dr. Morris is the co-editor of ‘Capital Failure: Rebuilding Trust in Financial Services’, published by OUP in 2014, and author of ‘Management and Regulation of Pension Schemes: Australia, A Cautionary Tale’, published by Routledge in 2018.
Dr. Morris will be presenting the session "Lessons from Down Under that we Cannot Afford to Ignore."
Business Development Manager,
Natanje has been in the Fintech space and particular pension Fintech for the last 16 years.
She had an early pension dashboard prototype a few years ago and more recently she has been looking at the future of the workplace and what that means for Financial Services.
She joins Bravura from Dunstan Thomas, the retirement technology and business services company, where she spent fourteen years, with nearly nine of these as Managing Director.
She served as chair of the Retirement Council at TISA for three years during which the ‘pot follow member’ debate was started and ended.
She is also on the advisory board of the Pensions Network.
Natanje supplemented her Electronic Engineering degree with a MBA from Cass in 2014, delivering a thesis on how technology can drive client engagement in pensions.
Natanje will be participating in the panel session on Pension Freedoms; talking about the important part that technology can play in advancing the effectiveness and efficiency of the pensions market.
Founder and Chief Executive,
systensync solutions Ltd.
Systemsync's flagship product is pensionsync which is helping UK payroll companies connect electronically to workplace pension providers, so that the admin burden of automatic enrolment is
reduced and the security of sensitive employee data is increased.
We are also the company behind www.pensions.market (a free workplace pension provider & payroll comparison site designed to help SMEs select the best autoenrolment provider for their business) and www.benefits.market (an employee benefits eCommerce platform for SMEs, powered by pensionsync’s automated workplace pension data submissions).
Systemsync has previously benefited from Innovate UK grant funding, and through participation in the FCA's sandbox innovation programme.
Will is participating in the panel session "An Alternative AE Review."
Willis Towers Watson.
Simon is a pensions actuary with over 16 years’ experience at Willis Towers Watson advising trustees and corporate sponsors of pension schemes.
Simon is a long-term advisor to the Royal Mail Group (RMG), working with them to make a number of changes to the design of their DB scheme over the years, including assisting with RMG’s negotiations with their unions and other stakeholders.
He is currently assisting RMG in their joint work with the Communication Workers Union to design a Collective Defined Contribution (CDC) scheme for RMG’s workforce, and to engage with the Government on introducing legislation to enable CDC schemes.
Simon will be participating in our panel session on "Should CDC be allowed?"
Tristan has in excess of sixteen years’ experience of advising both public sector and private sector employers, pension scheme trustees, pensions professionals, and private individuals on all aspects of pensions law.
His expertise covers statutory schemes (LGPS, NHS Pension Scheme, Teachers’ Pension Scheme, etc.), single employer and multi-employer occupational schemes (whether final salary, money purchase, or hybrid), and personal schemes (directors’ schemes, self-invested schemes and auto-enrolment vehicles).
Tristan has extensive experience of drafting pension scheme documentation, from simple deeds of amendment and member announcements through to admission agreements and new definitive deeds, as well as scheme merger and de-merger deeds. He also has experience of dealing with liability management exercises and employer debt transactions, working with the Pensions Regulator and the Pension Protection Fund, as well as Pension Ombudsman disputes.
Finally, he regularly advises employers and funders on all pension aspects of corporate acquisitions, disposals, MBOs, investment etc. This includes advising on pensions-friendly corporate structures in relation to public sector outsourcing.
Tristan is a full member of the Association of Pensions Lawyers and a regular speaker on developments in pensions law.
Tristan will be participating in our panel session on "The Alternative AE Review".
Director and Founder,
Sanctum Software Ltd
Mark is the Founder of Sanctum Software; a specialist provider of auto-enrolment audit and compliance checking solutions that support employers and their advisers to ensure AE compliance and avoid regulatory fines, staff compensation costs and the risk reputational or brand damage.
His experience has given him an insight into the types of compliance failures that employers experience and the solutions needed to correct them.
An expert in pension auto-enrolment systems and processes, Mark has more than twenty years of experience of running payroll and pension software and outsourcing businesses and helped some of the largest payroll and pension providers design, build and launch their AE solutions.
Mark is participating in the panel session "An Alternative AE Review."
Business Development Director,
Tavistock Investments PLC
Mark has over 30 years of experience in financial services.
During his career, Mark has built significant experience working with UK IFAs and British expats, having formed a successful IFA Business active across several UK locations; as well as having set up and run a successful brokerage in Portugal.
In 2012, he joined Lighthouse Group as the firm's first Business Development Executive before being appointed Managing Director of Lighthouse Financial Advice. During his time there, he consolidated the separate divisions into one unified group, greatly contributing to a substantial increase in adviser earnings. He also worked with the board to set up the Lighthouse Auto Enrolment Mastertrust, as well as the introduction of its branded funds and platform.
Mark joined Tavistock Investments in 2017
Mark is participating in the panel session "An Alternative AE Review."
Andy Agathangelou FRSA,
Transparency Task Force.
Andy will be Chairing the Symposium. His overall objective is to galvanise support for the idea that greater transparency in financial services can drive positive, transformational change for the benefit of all.
Andy formed the Transparency Task Force following a meeting he led at Senate House, University of London on 6th May 2015. The meeting was the about the trust deficit that is impacting financial services and how harnessing the transformational power of transparency can drive the change that is needed.
That meeting set off a chain of events that led directly to the creation of our collaborative, campaigning community which is built on the idea that 'Sunlight is the Best Disinfectant'.
Since 6th May 2015 he has recruited, organised and mobilised over 300 volunteers around the world into 13 Teams:
- The Banking Team
- The Foreign Exchange Team
- The Market Integrity Team
- The Costs & Charges Team
- The Scams & Scandals Team
- Team PAM (Progressive Asset Managers)
- Team PISCES (Purpose; Impact Investing; Sustainability; Corporate Social Responsibility; Environment, Social & Governance; Socially-Responsible Investing)
- The Financial Stability Team
- Team APAC
- Team EMEA
- Team Americas
- Team GTI (Global Transparency Index)
- The AE Team
Our 13 Teams are the 'engine room' of the Transparency Task Force's work. Each Team is focused on a particular set of opacity-related challenges whereby subject-matter experts work together on a completely voluntary basis to develop and implement strategies to overcome those challenges.
Andy is also:
How to secure your place at the event
Please note that there is limited availability and all places must be booked in advance - use the link below.
It is a pay-to-attend event: £245 buys a place for one attendee.
If the pricing is genuinely a barrier, let us know and we'll look to discount as necessary - one way or another if the topic is of genuine interest we're keen that you can attend and participate, so if you genuinely need an adjustment to the price get in touch ASAP through:
firstname.lastname@example.org or 07501 460308
Payment can be made through credit card or invoice.
The Great Divide
You can read the speech by Andrew G. Haldane, FAcSS (the Bank of England's Chief Economist and Executive Director of Monetary Analysis and Statistics) that he gave on 18th May 2016 at the New City Agenda Annual dinner.
The speech is entitled The Great Divide and it is a first class explanation of why the trust deficit really matters and why it makes sense to try to do something about it.
Please click on the green button to access it; if you're not convinced of its relevance to our initiative, here's part of it:
..."The most important and compelling message the Bank received at the Open Forum came in the first session. The Bank had conducted some polling of perceptions of the financial sector – for example, by asking people what one word best described the future of financial markets. Among the Bank’s usual contacts, including those in the financial sector, the most used word was “regulated”. Many of us will have heard that message from financial insiders concerned about the perils of over-zealous regulators.
For me, the more revealing responses came from the general public, from the customers, rather than the producers, of financial services. The word most used by them when describing financial markets was a rather different one: it was “corrupt”. Not far behind were words like “manipulated”, “self-serving”, “destructive” and “greedy”. I am sure many of you have heard those messages too. They are certainly ones I have encountered frequently on my visits around the country."...
Please click the green button below to access the full speech. If you need to read another piece first, here it is:
..."At least until recently many economists like me, when faced with this evidence, might have shrugged our shoulders. Social capital had no real role in our models of economic growth, unlike physical capital and human capital. Trust did not butter our parsnips and nor did it enter our production functions.
Recently, however, that orthodoxy has changed and the importance of trust has become clearer.
Evidence has emerged, both micro and macro, to suggest trust may play a crucial role in value creation. At the micro level, there is now ample evidence the degree of trust or social capital within a company contributes positively to its value creation capacity.
At the macro level, there is now a strong body of evidence, looking across a large range of countries and over long periods of time, that high levels of trust and co-operation are associated with higher economic growth.
Put differently, a lack of trust jeopardises one of finance’s key societal functions – higher growth.
Those social capital effects appear to be particularly potent when it comes to financial decisions. Evidence suggests that a lack of trust leads people to retreat from the stock market and banks and to move towards cash holdings and informal sources of credit, such as payday lenders and loan sharks. That jeopardises the second key benefit of finance to society – improved risk-sharing by households and companies.
So a lack of trust in finance potentially hobbles both economic growth and financial stability.
That lack of trust is the mirror-image of the perception gap between the financial sector and wider society, the Great Divide.
The Great Divide matters because it signals a pronounced and protracted erosion of social capital. It puts finance on notice for losing its social licence. And, unaddressed, that jeopardises future wealth and well-being."...
Please click on the green button to access the full speech. If you're not yet convinced you should, here's a final snippet:
..." As a survey in 2013 of financial professionals found, rather remarkably, that over half believed their competitors engaged in illegal or unethical behaviour. A smaller, but still high, fraction of 24% believed their own company engaged in such practices. Similar percentages believed their industry did not fulfil its fiduciary function of putting clients’ interests first.
The significance of these findings is not the precise percentages, as striking as these are.
More fundamentally, it is because of what they reveal about finance’s perception of itself, the mirror it holds to the social identity of finance."...
Click onto the button below to access the full speech; you'll be glad you did, it's profoundly thought-provoking for anybody interested in the future of the financial services industry:
If you are not already on the right page and want to read about our major international project to help rebuild trustworthiness and confidence in financial services, click on the orange button below: