THE CHANGING NATURE OF WORK
In addition to a workforce that has already been seen to include less formalized employment relationships, such as those in the “gig economy”, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly altered, perhaps permanently, the way in which employees work and the way in which employers will hire in the future. This session will examine the impact on pension plans and other retirement savings programs of the changing relationship between organizations and those who work for them. If work that was previously carried out in a traditional office environment can simply be done by a remote workforce anywhere in the world, will organizations, particularly those in the private sector, still feel the need to provide retirement savings programs, or for that matter, will pension plans as we know them continue to exist in the long term? Will we start to see two classes of workers – those covered by retirement savings programs and those who are not, even within the same organization?
MODERATOR: Michael Wolpert, Fasken, Canada
PANELISTS: Paul Owens, Government of Alberta, Canada, Wijnanda Rutten, Clifford Chance, the Netherlands
WHY MISSING MEMBERS MATTER
In recent years, concerns related to missing plan members have become a focus for plan sponsors, their advisors and regulators. This panel will discuss a number of recent developments and legal issues arising in their respective jurisdictions, including:
- Emerging regulatory requirements
- Implications for plan administrators and sponsors
- Developing robust procedures to comply with fiduciary and regulatory requirements
- Other insights and best practices
MODERATOR: Jeff Mamorsky, Greenberg Traurig LLP, U.S.A
PANELISTS: Terry Moore, Greenberg Traurig LLP, U.S.A, Lyle Teichman, Willis Towers Watson, Canada, Elise Laeremans, Younity, Belgium,
Deidre Phillips, Bowmans, South Africa
LEGAL ISSUES ON THE DECUMULATION PHASE FOR DC PLAN MEMBERS
Recording: The panel discussion will be recorded so that if you are not able to attend the live panel discussion you can view the recording.
Pre-reading: To provide context, and to allow the panel to assume a level of background knowledge by participants when discussing some of the more challenging and interesting issues in this area, participants will be sent a summary paper outlining the legal framework which applies to this topic in Australia, Canada, the UK and the US.
Overview and context
DC Plan members face a range of very complex choices as they move into the retirement phase of their lives. Will they outlive their retirement savings? How do they invest their retirement accounts in a time of central bank quantitive easing producing ultra low interest rates often below inflation (or even negative nominal interest rates)? Will future inflation erode the purchasing power of their retirement income? Are their choices made simpler or more complex by the regulatory and tax laws which aim to protect them from commission hungry salesmen and conflicted advisers and to reward retirement savings with tax breaks (but are the tax breaks too generous at a time of Government budget deficits)?
From an employer, plan fiduciary or product provider perspective how do you safely navigate the legal and tax rules to provide mutually beneficial outcomes for all involved? As an employer, if your employees cannot afford to retire, will you end up with substantial liabilities for age discrimination claims if you terminate their employment? As a product provider, how do you manage the risk of mis-selling claims and how do you manage conflicts of interest when problems often emerging some years after the product was provided to the DC plan member and when the scale of the issue has ballooned?
Are there developments in investment risk pooling and longevity risk pooling which can help answer some of these questions; for example collective defined contribution or other risk sharing plans? Is the tontine about to be reborn in a new form as a solution to longevity risk management? Are there learning opportunities from other jurisdictions?
DC Plan decumulation approaches and developments you may not know about
Here are some approaches and developments in this area that may be new to you:
Issues for the panel to discuss
The panel will discuss how a number of these issues are or are not dealt with in the legal and tax laws in their respective jurisdictions, including some of these recent developments. In particular:
- the different approaches to management of these risks and the insights gained from experiences so far in the 4 jurisdictions covered by the panel of speakers
- constraints imposed by tax rules in the jurisdiction in question as to what decumulation options are available
- the risk to plan fiduciaries and employers of liability in the decumulation phase
- liability for information to plan members on decumulation investment strategies and withdrawal rates
- some of the challenges of collective risk sharing in a transparent way
- to what extent does regulation help or hinder plan fiduciaries and trustees to provide retirement income projections and/or calculators to assist members to think about the expected income stream (rather than the retirement account balance).
MODERATOR: Philip Bennett, Durham University, UK
PANELISTS: Ruth Stringer, Herbert Smith Freehills, Australia, Michael Wolpert, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, Canada, Sandy Maudgil, Slaughter and May, UK, Susan Wetzel, Hayes and Boone LLP, USA
CLOSING THE GENDER PENSION GAP
Gender and diversity issues in and around pension schemes lead to a further deepening of social inequality across the globe. The panel focuses on gender-related structural challenges around pension schemes and discusses possible ways to solve such issues, with a view to strengthening awareness amongst pension practitioners that gender equality not only includes equal pay on salaries but also an equal and fair share in pension accruals and entitlements.
MODERATOR: Sanya Goffe, Hart Muirhead Fatta, Jamaica
PANELISTS: Joelle Saad-Lessler, Stevens Institute of Technology, USA
SCHEMING TO GET SCHEME ASSETS CYBERSECURITY
As retirement security becomes increasingly digital, there are more opportunities for theft of data and assets of retirement schemes. We’ll be comparing the regulatory framework around the requirements for protecting retirement schemes as well as discussing the intersecting trends in criminal activity and liability.
MODERATOR: Kevin Walsh, Groom Law Group, Chartered, USA
PANELISTS: Andrea Boctor, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, Canada, George Sepsakos, Groom Law Group, Chartered, USA
Session description coming soon