For many DB schemes, the time horizon to their endgame has shortened considerably over the past 18 months. That means, what was theoretical thinking has now become an urgent need for practical planning and action.

Announcing our series of events covering the different elements of endgame planning and implementation that trustees and sponsors of DB pension schemes need to be taking now.

Episode 9 - Is your asset strategy buyout ready?

You wouldn’t build a house without laying firm foundations first. The same is true for a bulk annuity, without the right asset strategy underpinning your scheme, the deal could collapse.

We'll consider what is the type and right amount of credit to hold - and how does this change with markets, and how schemes should approach interest rate and inflation hedging.

We’ll also discuss with our guest speakers:

  • How to balance matching pricing moves in the run up to buy-in with assets to pay the premium;
  • For their views on derivatives
  • Their preferred approach to illiquids and appetite/ability to take these in-specie;
  • What solutions they implemented last year;
  • How ESG principles factor in to their investment strategy and whether they price sustainable assets more favourably

Date: 16th July 2024

Time: 11.00am BST

Episode 8 - The morning after (and the months after that) – how to avoid a hangover as you wind-up your scheme after a buy-in

Watch back our webinar to find out how to avoid the hangover as the clear up after the party starts. We were joined by a range of experts who guide you through the crucial stages along the post transaction path and explain how you can navigate pitfalls as you cleanse data and tie up loose ends; maintain a clear focus on members and cover off all remaining risks.

Episode 7 - Size doesn’t matter - the art and science of smaller Scheme transactions

2024 is already proving to be a big year for bulk annuities with more £1bn+ deals in the market than ever before and many predicting that volume records will tumble yet again. Against this backdrop, how do you ensure that your smaller deal doesn’t get squeezed?

Watch back our webinar to hear why you can ignore the scaremongering and find out how well-prepared smaller transactions from £250m all the way down to £1m schemes are still getting traction - and favourable pricing - despite the busy market.

We were joined by a range of experts who will share their insights on the whole process; from setting initial strategy and getting market ready, to negotiating and executing the optimal deal, as well as how new innovations and developing approaches can help you achieve your aims.

Episode 6 - Bulk annuities: What you need to consider in 2024

As the dust settles on another record year in the bulk annuity market, it’s time to take stock and plan for 2024.

2023 was a record year for bulk annuity transactions. And, with arguably more schemes than ever looking to transact in the near future, and new innovation from advisers and insurers, there’s no reason to think we won’t be saying the same thing the end of this year.

Watch back our webinar as we shared what learnings have been taken from 2023 and some of the key trends to look out for this year.

Episode 5 - Endgame and the role of the fiduciary manager

Fiduciary Management has continued to grow and evolve over the last few years, with many trustees deciding that it is the most appropriate investment and governance solution for their scheme. Funding levels for these schemes have typically improved more than the average UK DB pension scheme, showing the success that is possible under this approach.

We discussed whether Fiduciary Management can continue to add value for your scheme, regardless of the endgame you are targeting and how close you are to achieving it.

Episode 4: Buyout - it's not all about the price

We are seeing an increasing range of considerations that trustees and sponsors are taking into account when selecting an insurer for a bulk annuity deal. From insurer financial strength and ESG considerations, to cyber and data privacy protection, not to mention the quality of member experience post transaction – it’s clear there is now more to a deal than just the price. 

Watch back our webinar where our Mercer experts were joined by a Professional Trustee to discuss how these factors have influenced the decision making in recent transaction they have been involved in.

Episode 3: Getting ready for buyout 

Now we’ve discussed the options, it’s time to talk practicalities - whether you are aiming for buyout or planning to run off your scheme, your assets will need to be positioned correctly. The amount of hedging, cash flow matching and return seeking allocations will vary. And whether to sell private market exposures or take tactical opportunities to acquire them will depend on your end game destination.

Watch a recording of our webinar where Mercer experts will be joined by an insurer to talk you through a recent buyout success story.

Episode 2: Why buyout isn’t always the right choice

A buyout is not the only way for trustees to increase member benefit security. There are an increasing number of alternatives that may add value for DB scheme members and theirs sponsors.

Watch a recording of our webinar where John Gething, hot from his session at the PLSA Investment Conference, and Roanna Lynch will take you through the alternative endgame options.

Episode 1: Big scheme or small scheme – is there such thing as a ‘standard’ buy-in project?

Watch back our LinkedIn Live session for insights on how the buy-in/buy-out market is adapting to increased demand and how size, timing and other deal features impact how you get the best outcome for all stakeholders.  

Featuring perspectives from insurers, this session will provide valuable insights for anyone planning a transaction. Whether you're managing a multi-billion pound scheme or seeking a sub-£100m transaction, we’ll help you navigate the market and make informed decisions.

Watch back

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