This event has now taken place. You can scroll to the bottom of this page to download the slides used and pictures taken. 

Many thanks to Pension Insurance Corporation for hosting this important Symposium and to SBC Systems for sponsoring it. 


If you haven't been to a Transparency Symposium before use the link below to read testimonials:

When and where is the symposium?

From 12:00 to 17:00 on Thursday 8th March at:


Pension Insurance Corporation,

14 Cornhill, Lodon EC3V 3ND.


Note: Whilst the meeting itself ends at 17:00 delegates can enjoy further networking and drinks courtesy of Pension Insurance Corporation until 18:30

About this Symposium

This Transparency Symposium is a thought leadership event wholly dedicated to the fast-evolving automatic enrolment landscape.


The event will feature an important update from The Pensions Regulator on AE, covering a range of topics including the 2017 Review.


There will also be facilitated discussions and debates on issues that often divide opinion so you can expect a highly engaging and probably quite lively symposium.


Overall, it’s clear that we’re at a pivotal moment for AE with the last employers to stage having had their AE duties start on 1st February; so the big question now is “what next?” 


There are many important questions that need answering:


 - Could the upcoming contribution increases spark a sharp increase in opt-outs or is the success of AE completely assured?


 - The “elephant in the room” is that the success of AE thus far has been achieved through inertia rather than “winning hearts and minds” so is the government and industry’s communications good enough now to “sell the benefits” of being a “Remainer?” to could-be “Leavers?”


 - The worst case scenario is that contribution increases will lead to mass opt outs and resultant profitability falls for pension providers – could that destabilise parts of the market?


 - Have all employers staged correctly or might a lid soon be taken off a “can of worms” of errors?


 - If so, will there be demonstrable material detriment to some employees and how well would the industry cope with that? What might the litigation risks be? …and who would be “in the dock”?


 - Some employers/payroll bureaux are known to be processing tax relief for pension contributions incorrectly and will have to unwind these mistakes – how will they do that? What happens if they cannot afford to do so?


 - What should the industry learn from the challenges faced by NOW: Pensions?


 - Are any MasterTrusts at risk?


 - What has driven the recent developments around Standard Life’s “Good to Go” AE proposition?


 - How might Fintech based on BlockChain, Artificial Intelligence and Application Programme Interfaces overhaul the operational management of AE moving forward?


 - How human-free could the pensions and payroll market become over say the next 5 years and what will that mean to the jobs market in this space?


 - What will the 2017 Review change; particularly as it relates to coverage, engagement and contribution levels?


 - How will the significant recent gains for greater transparency on costs and charges impact competition in the market and value for money for the pension saver? But what will it do to profit margins of asset managers and pension providers?


 - How might the unique role of NEST evolve moving forward? - both in the accumulation and potentially in the decumulation phase? Are there any market competition issues that warrant attention?


The Pensions Regulator will be represented at the symposium by Bex Woodley, Industry Liaison Manger, who will be covering:


  • The latest updates on compliance levels and TPR’s enforcement actions
  • The legislative changes that might be expected from the 2017 Review
  • The forthcoming contribution increases and the impact on net take-home pay
  • “New” employers
  • Tax relief / Salary Sacrifice
  • Changing pension provider
  • Future changes to AE legislation


Furthermore, there will also be facilitated discussions and debates dealing with the subjects outlined above and more; catering for the very different perspectives of:


  • Technology solution providers
  • Pension scheme providers
  • Payroll solution providers
  • Financial advisory
  • Legal advisory
  • Employees
  • Employers

The Transparency Task Force is pleased to organize this Symposium as it creates a great opportunity to shine a bright light on all the important issues whilst providing a useful forum for market participants, thought leaders, stakeholders and The Pensions Regulator to discuss and debate the key questions in a constructive and collegiate way.


This is a great chance to share your thoughts with The Pensions Regulator and all other attendees as there will be ample scope for facilitated open discussion and debate - the symposium will be 'an interactive event for the few rather than a passive event for many'. 

What's the Programme?

12:00    Registration, lunch and and networking 

13:00    Welcome and introductions

13:15    Presentation by Bex Woodley, Industry Liaison Manager, The Pensions Regulator; with Q&A

14:00    Discussion and debate on the hot topics

14:50    Presentation of the Transparency Trophy

15:00    Refreshments and networking

15:30    Discussion and debate continued

16:50    Key conclusions, wrap-up and close to the formal proceedings

17:00   Drinks, nibbles and networking

18:30   Final close

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: £490 buys a place for one attendee including logo sponsorship; but if logo sponsorship isn’t wanted the price for one attendee is just £245. 


Furthermore, 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 to discuss pricing - get in touch through: or 07501 460308


Payment can be made through credit card or invoice.

Click on the icon below to download the slides:

Slides used at the Transparency Symposium held on 8th March 2018 about AE
TS London 8th March 2018.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [51.6 MB]

Click below to view the pictures from the event:

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:

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