INLCUDING: FINLAND - Better returns for VER; AUSTRALIA - ASFA awards; UK- JOHCM appointment; UK - Postcode pensions
FINLAND – Better returns for VER
The State Pension Fund (VER) delivered positive first half results after only breaking even last year.
VER’s investments yielded a return of 3.4% in the first half of 2007 compared to 0% in the first half of last year.
The fund's assets rose to €11.4bn at the end of June, up from €10.3bn at the turn of the year.
The return on the State Pension Fund’s fixed-income portfolio in the first half of 2007 was -1.2%, in contrast to -2.5% from January-June 2006, and the market value of fixed-income investments was €6.2bn.
AUSTRALIA – ASFA awards
ING Australia, Mercer Wealth Solutions, Plum Financial and First State Super picked up excellence awards in the Member Marketing or Education Communication category at the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) awards.
Eight superannuation funds picked up merit awards in the same category.
UK – JOHCM appointment
J O Hambro Capital Management (JOHCM) has announced former Northern Rock finance director, Bob Bennett would join as its first independent non-executive director.
Bennett would take responsibility for the development and growth of JOHCM.
UK – Postcode annuities
Legal and General has launched a pilot scheme which would vary annuity costs and payout rates according to where retirees live.
Hargreaves Landsdown collaborated on research into how postcodes could indicate life expectancy.
A buyout tool which provides schemes with up-to-date pricing and comparisons between insurers has been launched by JLT Employee Benefits.
The DB white paper sets out plans to review the funding regime, with 'prudent' and 'appropriate' possibly redefined. But James Phillips asks if this could this signal a return to an MFR-like approach?
The trustees of GKN's pension schemes have agreed a package of mitigation measures that would improve funding to a "more prudent level" if Melrose's offer is accepted by shareholders next week.
While the new powers are welcome, most respondents doubt it will make a difference to the outcomes for members, Pensions Buzz respondents say.