Including: Italy - Retirement reform agreed on, US - New target maturity funds launched, Germany - Heissmann acquisition completed, UK - LAPFF encourages engagement, Chile - IMF lends support to reform, Netherlands - PGGM's cover ratio rises by 19% to 153%.
Italy – Retirement reform agreed on
An agreement has been reached between unions and the government to raise the retirement age from 57 to 58 in 2008 – and not 60 as planned by previous prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.
According to the new reform, which was due to be reviewed again today, the retirement age will then gradually be stepped up to reach 61 in 2013.
US – New target maturity funds launched
Investment management firm Payden & Rygel has teamed up with Wilshire Funds Management to launch a new series of target maturity funds.
The four Payden/Wilshire Longevity Funds, 2010, 2020, 2030 and 2040, have been designed to take investors through retirement, rather than just to retirement.
Target maturity funds are popular as investment options on 401(k) or other defined contribution plans.
Germany – Heissmann acquisition completed
Watson Wyatt’s acquisition of German actuarial, benefits and human resources consultancy, Heissmann, has been completed.
Global Pensions announced in May the acquisition, which includes Heissmann’s subsidiaries in Ireland, the Netherlands, France and Austria, was due to take place.
UK – LAPFF encourages engagement
The Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF) has published a trustee guide encouraging engagement with companies on employment issues.
The guide, ‘Unlocking Human Capital’, includes a section giving a set of core indicators of good practice in human capital management and a section on developing an engagement strategy.
Chile – IMF lends support to reform
IMF directors have reportedly stated support for the Chilean government’s commitment to building up a pension reserve fund and proposed reform of the pension system.
IMF directors described the proposed liberalisation of the investment rules for pension funds as “timely”, in view of “Chile’s strong external position and the need to deepen domestic financial markets”.
Netherlands - In the first half of 2007, PGGM said higher long term interest rates brought the pension fund's cover ratio to 153%.
It said the best performing asset classes in the past six months were private equity (17.5%), real estate (10.5%) and equities (9.2%).
PwC, KPMG, EY and Deloitte must break up their consultancy and audit businesses into distinct firms to provide greater focus on the "most challenging and objective audits", the competition watchdog has said.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has released its first batch of guidance setting out how the guaranteed minimum pension (GMP) conversion legislation may be used to resolve unequal payments.
This week's top stories include the government spending £800,000 on a Gogglebox advert and MPs writing to The Pensions Regulator about its engagement with the Railways Pension Scheme.