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UK roundup: PIC, Hounslow Pension Scheme, Mercer, People’s Pension

first_imgThe Dynochem UK Pension Scheme has completed a buyout with Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC).The full insurance buyout covers around 100 members and £15m (€18.2m) of liabilities.The buyout was required after the sponsor’s private equity owners sold the engineering software provider.As a condition of the sale, the scheme was required to wind up, transferring its liabilities to the insurance sector. In other news, the London Borough of Hounslow Pension Scheme has begun a search for investment consulting services.The fund said it required services and advice on asset allocation, investment strategy, manager selection and the monitoring and reporting of investment managers.It also requires a named adviser for the life of any contract.Interested parties should respond to the fund by 7 April.Elsewhere, Mercer, the global consultancy, has created a global pensions buyout index, focusing on the UK, Ireland and North America.The index provides benchmarks from 18 third-party insurers and aims to highlight how the cost of insuring defined benefit pensions differs between markets, and changes over time.While conducting research to create the index, Mercer found insurance costs in the UK were the highest when compared with Canada, Ireland and the US.The cost of insuring £100m of obligations in the UK would be 23% higher than the accounting liabilities, compared with 17% in Ireland, 8.5% in the US and 5% in Canada.Finally, The People’s Pension, a defined contribution master trust set up for the rollout of auto-enrolment, has seen its 500,000th member join the scheme.The member, who joins from a family-owned company operating a chain of public houses, demonstrates the significant growth of the fund since it opened in November 2011.The pension scheme is run on a not-for-profit basis and is wholly owned by B&CE, the former construction workers pension scheme, set up in 1942.last_img read more

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​Dutch government announces new financial assessment framework

first_imgThe Dutch government has unveiled a new financial assessment framework (FTK) for pensions that is much less ambitious than originally planned and mainly corrects widely criticised elements of the current system.Pension funds will have more time to implement the new FTK than originally envisaged and be permitted to apply the existing FTK to determine the contribution rates and indexation for 2015, even though officially the new FTK takes effect as per 1 January 2015.Funds will have until 1 July 2015 to meet the requirements of actuarial rules for financial crisis planning, investment and indexation policy.Those with a shortfall will have an extension of three months to submit a recovery plan. However, pension funds must still apply the amended ultimate forward rate (UFR) and the new parameters for calculations for the Dutch regulator, the DNB, by the beginning of 2015.Jetta Klijnsma, state secretary for Social Affairs and Labour, announced the changes in a letter to Parliament outlining the implementation of the new FTK legislative proposal.The Cabinet approved the changes on 20 June.The government has shied away from a wide-ranging reform of the FTK and instead focused on light-touch amendments.Among other changes, funds may spread the impact of financial shocks over a longer period.There will also be clear rules regarding indexation, and the impact of market volatility will be dampened.Also, buffer requirements have been raised, and schemes must outline ahead of time how they intend to deal with windfalls or setbacks they might encounter in future.The Council of State, in its advice on the impact of the proposal, said it “merely amends the existing FTK within the current framework of a nominal pension contract to make the management of pension assets more stable and contribute to a more equitable distribution of risks among the affected groups … in the management of assets”.The Council of State emphasised that the FTK proposals were independent of a wide-ranging consultation exercise on the future of the Dutch pension system, which has just been started.last_img read more

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Nordic pension fund tenders €100m global equity mandate

first_imgA Scandinavian pension fund is tendering a €100m global equity mandate, using IPE-Quest.The fund behind search QN 1479, from an undisclosed Scandinavian country, said it would consider managers investing in global large and mid-cap equity products.Actively managed, long-only products, excluding enhanced index funds, are possible vehicles for the mandate, as long as these are not minimum volatility funds.Additionally, leveraged products or those employing derivatives will not be considered. The pension fund added that it would appoint up to two managers it believed were capable of outperforming the MSCI All Country World Index, with capability assessed against a historical outperformance of 2-4% over a track record of five years or more.Any shortlisted product must also be able to offer the fund segregated accounts that can cater to the pension investor’s requirement to blacklist certain companies.Interested managers must apply by 27 January, stating performance to the end of December.The IPE.com news team is unable to answer any further questions about IPE-Quest tender notices to protect the interests of clients conducting the search. To obtain information directly from IPE-Quest, please contact Jayna Vishram on +44 (0) 20 7261 4630 or email jayna.vishram@ipe-quest.com.last_img read more

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Pension fund for Dutch pharmacists forced to halve fixed indexation

first_imgSPOA, the €1.2bn occupational pension fund for Dutch pharmacists, is to cut its annual fixed indexation of 3% in half as part of new pensions arrangements. In its newsletter, the scheme told participants that the reduction of tax relief for pension premiums had been the chief driver of the new plan, which also increases the contribution to 22.7% of pensionable salary.It also cited the fact that an increasing number of pharmacists have entered the workforce.Under the new pension plan, the annual accrual will be 1.3% of salary up to €75,000. Participants will have to oversee additional pension arrangements themselves.A new element in the SPOA scheme will be the introduction of a partner pension, for which more than 1.3% will be accrued annually.However, the partner pension will not be eligible for the annual fixed indexation, SPOA said.The pharmacists’ scheme raised the target age for retirement to 67 but made clear that it would allow participants to retire as early as 55.SPOA has set the franchise – the amount of the salary exempt from pensions accrual – at €12,462, and has abolished the option to accrue a higher pension, “as only a limited number of participants used this option”.However, the pension fund did not confirm whether it would maintain its additional variable indexation, which is based on returns and the scheme’s coverage ratio.Due to the pension fund’s financial position, it has been unable to grant additional inflation compensation for several years nowSince 2011, the scheme has had to cut pensions rights four times, with successive discounts of 5%, 7%, 6.8% and 4.6%.As of the end of February, its funding ratio was 105.9%.At the end of 2013, the pension fund reported nearly 5,000 participants, consisting of approximately 2,765 active members and 1,160 pensioners.last_img read more

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Institutional hedge fund allocations remain ‘steadfast’, survey shows

first_imgAlmost all institutional investors expect to maintain or increase allocations to hedge funds for the rest of 2015 despite concerns over fee structures and market volatility, research shows.A mid-year survey from Credit Suisse shows 93% of institutions around the world will keep faith in hedge funds, an increase of 3% from the start of the year.The survey, covering 200 institutional investors with $700bn (€634bn) of hedge fund allocations, also showed EMEA investors favoured global macro strategies compared with their US counterparts, which prefer equity long/short investments.Overall, 46% of investors selected global macro as investment style of choice, while 44% went for event-driven, matching the selections made at the start of the year. Around two-thirds of investors preferred their hedge fund strategies to be invested in the US and Europe.Credit Suisse said multi-strategy hedge funds had grown in popularity over 2015, ranking the 14th most popular at the start of the year but rising to sixth in the July edition.Robert Leonard, managing director of capital services at Credit Suisse, said: “Despite ongoing volatility in the global marketplace, investors remain steadfast in their allocations.”He said the increasing appetite for mulit-strategy funds was a reflection of the volatile environment, with investors keen to take advantage where possible.Hedge funds’ relationship, particularly with pension funds, has become notably strained of late, as €156bn Dutch healthcare worker scheme PFZW and US giant CalPERS dropped allocations, primarily over cost concerns.PFZW said the asset class no longer aligned with its investment policy or its criteria based on sustainability, complexity, cost and contribution to index-linking.Nordic investors including PKA, Ilmarinen and ATP also shunned hedge funds late last year, shifting towards replication strategies with additional risk controls.Around 40 of the 200 responses in the Credit Suisse report came from international public and private pension funds.last_img read more

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Lord Turner dismisses regulation, transparency as route to lower charges

first_imgRegulation and transparency are not the route to lower charges for pensions, the former chair of the influential 2002-06 Pensions Commission has said.It was “nonsense” to think they were the means to reduce charges to 30bp or around that level, said Lord Adair Turner, chairman of the Institute for New Economic Thinking.The idea that transparency would lead to effective choice was misguided, he suggested.“All those pages and pages of detailed information on… charges… are broadly speaking unread, and people have almost no power to take that information and turn it into an effective form of choice,” he said. Lord Turner’s comments appeared at odds with a push for greater transparency of costs and charges from advocacy groups and regulators.The UK government is currently consulting on proposals for trustees and managers of defined contribution occupational pension schemes to publish information about cost and charges and tell members where they can find it.An action group set up by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority is separately attempting to establish a common methodology for displaying costs and charges for institutional investors.Lord Turner suggested it was ill-conceived to think regulation was a solution because its target – providers that were making “supernormal” profits – did not exist.  “The fundamental insight we had in the report – and I think still stands – is it isn’t that there’s an industry making a huge amount of profit out of small pensions,” he said. “Small pensions is an immensely expensive thing to do in a competitive multi-provider model.” Credit: Resolution FoundationLord Adair Turner, chair of the now disbanded Pensions CommissionAdministering small pension pots can cost just as much as administering a larger pot because they all required the “same amount of paper, the same amount of reporting, the same amount of compliance officers”, said Lord Turner.“It’s an economy of scale game,” he added.Picking up an idea of the Pension Commission, Lord Turner said there was a threshold below which it became logical to have a publicly administered bulk default pension scheme that bought asset management on an economy of scale basis.“That was our original vision and I still think it’s the right vision. I expect it’s the only way to get charges down to 30bp or something like that,” he said.Lord Turner was speaking yesterday alongside the two other members of the Pensions Commission – member of the House of Lords and trade unionist Baroness Drake and professor of social policy at the London School of Economics John Hills – at an event organised by think tank Resolution Foundation to consider the outlook for the UK pensions system 15 years after the commission was first formed.The commission was announced in the autumn of 2002 by then-chancellor Gordon Brown, although Lord Turner said the project was pushed forward more by prime minister Tony Blair, which was “non-trivial to the way we operated”.The Pensions Commission published its first report in October 2004, setting out a detailed and comprehensive analysis of the UK pensions system. After an extensive consultation with government, industry and individuals on its analysis and the possible ways forward it published a second report in December 2005.This presented its conclusions on how the UK pension system would evolve if policy remained unchanged, and the Commission’s recommendations for a new policy direction.This included auto-enrolment into low cost pensions and a more generous but delayed state pension, recommendations that were taken up by the UK government and have become central features of the pensions landscape in the country.last_img read more

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LGPS awards lucrative transition management contracts

first_imgNicola Mark, head of Norfolk Pension Fund and chair of National LGPS Frameworks, said: “The process of transition to the pools is set to be a very testing one for all of us and LGPS funds and pools face an array of complex legal, technical and governance issues.“The establishment of this new transition management and implementation services framework has enabled individual funds and pools to focus on the other critical challenges required for the April 2018 deadline and will continue to deliver savings in both time and money in the years ahead.”The project was the first designed specifically for the pools and involved representatives from seven of the eight investment collaborations.National LGPS Frameworks has previously created procurement models for a range of services for LGPS funds including custody, legal advice, actuarial and benefits consulting, passive investments and stewardship.LGPS funds and asset pools are free to choose a provider directly from those awarded a contract by National LGPS Frameworks, or run a competition between those selected before awarding a mandate. The Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) has awarded 15 contracts to nine companies to provide transition management services for the emerging asset pools.Goldman Sachs, BlackRock, Legal & General Investment Management, Macquarie, Northern Trust and Russell Investments were all tasked last week with providing transition management and execution services to the UK’s 89 local authority pension funds as well as the eight emerging asset pools.Allenbridge, Hymans Robertson and Mercer were awarded advisory contracts.The deals could be lucrative given that, from April, the eight asset pools being created by LGPS funds must begin taking assets on board from fund managers. In total, the 89 funds manage more than £260bn (€296bn). Transition managers are responsible for implementing portfolio changes to reduce trading costs and time out of the market when an investor shifts from one asset manager to another.last_img read more

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Responsible investing roundup: Tailings review gets investors support

first_imgEarly last year the two organisations called for a new industry standard that would drive best practice to address the risk of tailings facility failure.“We have been assured by the Global Tailings Review’s independent expert panel that if this standard had been in place, the disaster at Brumadinho would not have happened,” they stated.In April 2019 the CEPB and Sweden’s AP funds wrote to nearly 700 listed mining companies with an “urgent request” for information about their management of tailings dam facilities.The duo said: “We expect all mining companies to comply with this framework, and responsible investors looking to address the risks of tailings failure now have a responsibility to drive implementation, incorporating the standard into stewardship and active ownership strategies.”According to GTR, the next steps are to finalise reports that will provide additional detail, context, background and recommendations on the standard.The standard will be published once it has been translated and all accompanying documents are ready. GTR expects to publish these in the coming weeks.UK’s NEST backs calls at Tesco AGM to disclose sales of healthy productsNEST, a UK defined contribution provider, has joined ShareAction’s call on Tesco to disclose the proportion of its sales made up by healthy food and drink products.The investors also urged the food retailer to set ambitious targets to increase these sales over time.The question was submitted to Tesco today at its annual general meeting, which did not take place physically due to social distancing restrictions.A similar commitment has already been made by other large UK supermarkets including Sainsbury’s and M&S, ShareAction disclosed.This request to Tesco follows the publication of a review of UK supermarkets’ plans to improve the nation’s diets earlier this year.The report found significant gaps in supermarkets’ public commitments and actions to help people eat balanced diets and tackle childhood obesity.Tesco came third with information being found on only 30% of indicators across topics such as product formulation, responsible marketing, affordability, clear labelling and corporate governance, the report found.The ongoing pandemic has highlighted the critical importance tackling childhood obesity and supporting public health, ShareAction said.As part of its ongoing Healthy Markets’ campaign, backed by investors with $1trn (€885bn), ShareAction is asking supermarkets to define and publish comprehensive nutrition and health strategies to drive healthier food and drink consumption.Mais Callan, senior responsible investment manager at NEST and member of the Healthy Markets coalition, said: “There’s a growing demand from governments to tackle the issue of obesity and a consumer trend towards healthier products.”She said that evidence from the COVID-19 pandemic is showing that people with obesity-linked conditions are more likely to suffer serious complications. “Health is emerging as a key investment risk.”She added: “We’re supporting ShareAction’s question because we think companies like Tesco have an important role to play in promoting a healthier product range.”First ever majority win at Chevron to align with Paris AgreementClimate Action 100+ has said that a 53% majority of shareholders at Chevron Corp. voted for a resolution seeking a commitment from the oil giant to align its lobbying activities on climate policy with the goal of the Paris Agreement, which is to keep global average temperature rise to well-below 2°C with the aim of limiting it to 1.5°C.Filed by Climate Action 100+ investor signatory BNP Paribas Asset Management, this was the first climate-related proposal ever to win a majority of Chevron shareholder votes and it was the only proposal on Chevron’s 2020 proxy ballot that won a majority.To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here. Co-conveners of the Global Tailings Review (GTR) – the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) – have endorsed the first Global Industry Standard on Tailings Dams.GTR said the global standard, which is due to be launched next month, will establish “much needed robust requirements for the safer management of both existing and new tailings facilities globally”.In a joint statement, Adam Matthews, director of ethics and engagement for the Church of England Pensions Board (CEPB), and John Howchin, from the Council of Ethics of the Swedish National Pension Funds, said:“For decades people have called for a global standard that can drive best practice. It is tragic that it has taken the Brumadinho disaster to make this happen.”last_img read more

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Gold Coast real estate: Suns AFL coaches buying and selling

first_imgSuns head coach Stuart Dew has bought a house in Burleigh Waters.GOLD Coast Suns coach Stuart Dew has splashed $1.35 million on a family home at Burleigh Waters.Property records reveal Dew and wife Sarah Cumming took ownership of the four-bedroom house last month. His house features an open-plan design with a high ceilings, butler’s pantry, outdoor entertaining area and pool.Dew is a dual premiership-player for Port Adelaide and Hawthorn. GOLD Coast Suns coach Stuart Dew and wife Sarah Cumming have bought a house at Burleigh Waters. GOLD Coast Suns coach Stuart Dew and wife Sarah Cumming have bought a house at Burleigh Waters. Nick Malceski his selling his Burleigh Heads house. Photo: Regi VargheseIt comes as Suns NEAFL coach Nick Malceski, who played in the premiership-winning Sydney Swans team of 2012, lists his Burleigh Heads house on the market.Malceski also played two seasons with the Gold Coast Suns before retiring at the end of the 2016 season.His four-bedroom house is on the market at $1.693 million. MORE NEWS: Margot’s family home snapped up by early buyer MORE NEWS: Why this house is going viral Suns NEAFL coach Nick Malceski is selling his Burleigh Heads house. Stuart Dew and his partner Sarah Cumming arrive ahead of the 2018 Brownlow Medal at Crown Entertainment Complex on September 24, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images) More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa14 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days ago Entertain outside. The living areas in Suns NEAFL coach Nick Malceski’s Burleigh Heads house. “A unique combination of character and class, this immaculately presented Burleigh beach house offers the ultimate lifestyle,” the listing states.“Situated only 200ms to the iconic Burleigh beach, this magnificent four-bedroom home showcases contemporary finishes and delicate period features, desirable northly aspect, expansive room proportions and abundant outdoor entertainment areas.”Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:58Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:58 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD576p576p360p360p216p216pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenWhy location is everything in real estate01:59last_img read more

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Architect’s touch prompts doubled sale price

first_imgVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:47Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:47 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenAn epic waterfront family home01:47A SOVEREIGN Islands mega-mansion is on the market for $6,375,000 after a Gold Coast architect worked his magic.The residence at 38 Brittanic Crescent had a complete rebuild..“It’s very resort, very luxurious,” said marketing agent Lisa Halpin of Savills Gold Coast.“The family who own it had it redone by Bayden Goddard.”The residence is described as “timelessly elegant yet thoroughly contemporary”.Glass and timber feature throughout.CoreLogic property records show the sprawling residence last sold for $3.05 million in 2007, when the interior presented vastly different.It’s now on the market for $6,375,000.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa11 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days agoThere are seven bathrooms.And five bedrooms.The five-bedroom, seven-bathroom residence features views across the hinterland and mountains, sophisticated kitchen, luxurious lounge, media room, upper level with a private entrance, executive office and master suites with bespoke dressing room, balcony and ensuite.38 Brittanic Crescent, Sovereign Islands.Outside, a full outdoor kitchen with Teppanyaki commercial grill, BBQ, fire pit and swimming pool overlooks a 15 metre pontoon on the 1007sq metre block.Other touches include a three-metre foyer entrance with water feature, CBUS music system and nickel and leather door handles.“Indulging every personal extravagance, luxury, absolute comfort and aesthetic excellence,” the listing reads.last_img read more

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