Adequate and Sustainable Pensions

The PensionsEurope annual conference brings together leading experts in pensions, as well as pension professionals and EU officials to exchange views and best practices on the most relevant and topical issues in the pensions landscape. Free to attend, we will focus on the main trends concerning workplace pension provision in EU Pension Policy, Sustainable Finance, the low interest rate environment and communication in pensions. All of this will be discussed against the background of Covid-19 and the aftermath of this ongoing crisis.

All timings are CET

Wednesday, June 9, 2021
10:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Opening remarks by Janwillem Bouma followed by European Pension Policy keynote address

Even though pension policy is mainly in the remit of European Member States, national pension systems face similar major challenges. The EU has an important role to play in helping Member States to ensure that people have adequate and sustainable pensions. Commissioner Šuica will present the vision of the Von der Leyen Commission on pensions and introduce the main initiatives undertaken.

Janwillem Bouma Dubravka Šuica
10:35 AM - 10:55 AM
The Future of Work and Pensions

The way we work is changing and has an impact on people’s ability to earn a reliable income and save for retirement. There is a need to support the workforce with reskilling, mental health prevention and modern income protection and pension solutions. COVID-19 has made this more pressing than ever, and the recovery process is shaping the agenda for a new social contract. Zurich/Oxford’s May 2021 report ‘Shaping a brighter future of work: Global and local market insights’ provides insights and recommendations for the challenges ahead.

Stefan Kröpfl
10:55 AM - 11:20 AM
11:20 AM - 11:40 AM
EU Sustainable Finance Actions

Since the EU adopted a Sustainable Finance Action Plan in March 2018 many developments have taken place: Taxonomy, disclosure requirements, climate benchmarks, and green bonds are important for pension funds. The development continues with the Renewed Sustainable Finance Action Plan launched in spring 2021. What has been achieved and what still needs to be done?

Sirpa Pietikäinen
11:25 AM - 11:45 AM
11:50 AM - 12:35 PM
Sustainable Finance – Impact Investing

Impact investing as part of responsible investments. What, why, how and the role of EU?
Responsible investment and ESG are quickly becoming mainstream for pension funds. There is increasing interest in impact investing that contributes measurable solutions to global challenges like the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

  • What is impact investing?
  • How does it differ from more traditional ESG investing
  • How is it done
  • What challenges are there to overcome and does the EU play a part in this?
Krispijn Bertoen Magnus Billing Liam Kennedy
12:40 PM - 1:00 PM
Measuring the Net Impact of Investments

What is net impact and why does it matter for pension investors?
In addition to integrating ESG metrics, pension investors are increasingly adopting new ways of measuring and tracking their impact. The Upright net impact model aims to quantify not only the negative, but also the positive impacts investments have on the economy, environment, health of people, society and knowledge creation.

Annu Nieminen
1:05 PM - 1:35 PM
PensionsEurope & ITN - Investing in the Future followed by closing remarks by Janwillem Bouma

Investing in the Future will shine a spotlight on the need for individuals to manage their own long-term financial security. The programme will explore key industry themes including awareness and education around pension opportunities and planning; the post pandemic response and the effects on investments and pensions; addressing the gender pension gap; how ethical investments are changing the pension landscape; the latest innovations and efficiencies driving the sector forward and how the industry is fostering diversity and inclusion to attract the next generation of talent.

Janwillem Bouma
Thursday, June 10, 2021
10:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Opening remarks by Janwillem Bouma followed by Interview with EIOPA
Janwillem Bouma Fausto Parente
10:35 AM - 10:55 AM
A New Era of Portfolio Construction

We explore key themes that emerged during COVID-19 and how they impact the investment landscape for pensions: evolving globalism, importance of corporate purpose, maturing Chinese markets and sustainable investing. We conclude with our mid-year outlook and key considerations for strategic asset positioning, including incorporating climate change in return expectations.

Pierre Sarrau
11:00 AM - 11:20 AM
11:25 AM - 12:10 PM
Adequate and Sustainable Pensions in a Low Interest Rate Environment

Negative monetary policy interest rates have become the new normal with severe impact on pension funds.

  • What do the current rising inflation expectations and bond yields mean for pension funds and markets?
  • What is the impact of the Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) on the adequacy and sustainability of pensions?
  • Could the MMT finally lead to debt restructuring in the EU and what would be its consequence?
  • How to safeguard decent adequacy and sustainability of pensions in this new environment and continuously changing world?

Introduction: Jaap van Dam, Principal Director Investment Strategy, PGGM

François Barker Jaap van Dam Dirk Jargstorff Liam Kennedy
12:15 PM - 12:35 PM
European DC Pensions: Ready for Take-off?

DC pensions in Europe have now reached €4trn of Assets under management and are expected to grow much faster than DB or insurance-form pensions.

  • What is DC in Europe?
  • Lay of the land
  • Zoom on new initiatives: France, Germany
Christina Böck Richard Bruyère
12:40 PM - 1:40 PM
Good Pension Communication in a Digital Age followed by closing remarks by Janwillem Bouma

Why is good pension communication important and how can new technology help?
A distinguished panel of speakers will discuss what good communication consists of, and how technology is disrupting the way pension funds engage and communicate with their members and beneficiaries. The use of technology and innovative solutions can help to generate member engagement and improve communication and reporting. The trend away from paper documentation towards electronic means of communication is being recognised and increasingly permitting pension funds to use innovative solutions. What are the advantages and challenges in using FinTech solutions in pensions?

Ann Verlinden Justin Wray Tomas Wijffels Matti Leppälä