The National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) in a report launched today (Tuesday) has called for immediate action in three areas to help DB workplace pension schemes and their sponsors navigate the defined benefit (DB) transition as smoothly as possible.
The report, ‘DB run-off: The demand for inflation-linked assets’, explains that as DB schemes mature there is likely to be a continuing increase in liability hedging among DB schemes and also highlights the gap between supply and demand of index-linked gilts. The concern is that if schemes are unable to access the assets they need to adequately meet their cash flows and hedge their liabilities, this is likely to expose scheme sponsors to increases in deficit volatility and put more pressure on them to support funding levels.
The NAPF has identified three areas that require action to help pension schemes:
- Increased issuance of index-linked gilts
- Better availability of alternative inflation-matching assets
- Development of a framework that allows for more flexible models of DB pensions provision
Graham Vidler, Director of External Affairs, NAPF, commented: “Defined benefit schemes are currently struggling to access a sufficient supply of the types of assets they need as their scheme matures.
“If, in order to reduce volatility, schemes are forced buyers of liability matching assets with low or negative real yields, sponsors will be called upon to fill any shortfall that can no longer be met through scheme investments. Unless the supply of assets is addressed, and quickly, the costs of providing member benefits could continue to rise and place even greater pressure on scheme sponsors.
“There is no quick fix solution to the problem of securing member benefits in a market fundamentally lacking in the assets appropriate to guarantee those benefits are paid, but the report launched today proposes three courses of immediate action to help pension schemes manage this transition as smoothly as possible.”
‘DB run-off: The Demand for inflation-linked assets’ was launched at the NAPF’s Hot Topic Seminar on de-risking your pension, 17 June 2014, sponsored by Aon Hewitt and State Street Global Advisors.
To view a copy of the ‘DB run-off: The demand for inflation-linked assets’ report please click here.
Notes to editors:
The NAPF is the leading voice of workplace pensions in the UK. We speak for 1,300 pension schemes with some 16 million members and assets of around £900 billion. NAPF members also include over 400 businesses providing essential services to the pensions sector.
Lucy Grubb, Head of Media and PR, NAPF, 020 7601 1726 or 07713 073023, [email protected]
Eleanor Bennett, Press Officer, 020 7601 1718 or 07825 171 446, [email protected]