Including: AUSTRALIA - UniSuper receives investment accolade; UK - Scheme buy-in launch; GLOBAL - Sovereign wealth funds see 18% increase in AUM
Australian superannuation fund UniSuper has been awarded an investment stewardship award by the Melbourne Financial Services Symposium.
UniSuper was recognized for its strong investment performance and its advanced investment practices, according to a release by the fund.
UniSuper chief investment officer David St. John said: "At UniSuper, we have an investment philosophy that every basis point counts. We believe that everything we do - from setting our strategic asset allocations, to the more operational aspects of running the fund - can add value for our members. And at every level, we seek to deliver competitive risk-adjusted returns to our members."
UK - Scheme buy-in launch
Barnett Waddingham and MetLife Assurance have formed a strategic alliance to offer a buy-out arrangement specifically designed for smaller pension schemes.
The service will target schemes with liabilities as low as £5m.
Barnett Waddingham has been appointed to advise on the pension risk transfer process.
The companies said the partnership aimed to speed up the key aspects of the process for smaller schemes and to contain costs.
Barnett Waddingham said it would be able to produce indicative quotations based on MetLife Assurance pricing in a matter of days.
The companies also said if a pension scheme was looking to secure smaller liabilities - particularly where these are less than £20m - this arrangement offered an expedited process, greater certainty and access to a competitive offer.
GLOBAL - Sovereign wealth funds see 18% increase in AUM
Sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) saw assets under management rise 18% in 2008, reaching $3.9trn, a report by International Financial Services London (IFSL) says.
The lobby group's Sovereign Wealth Funds 2009 report found an additional $5.5trn was held in other sovereign investment vehicles, including pension reserve funds, development funds and state-owned corporation's funds.
This comes despite the losses suffered by sovereign wealth funds on certain investments during the last year, which have been offset by inflows of new funds.
The author of the report explained: "About two thirds of the $5.5trn in other sovereign investment vehicles' assets were held in public pensions.
"These are funds that have been set aside by governments, sometimes through social security institutions in countries such as US, Japan, Norway and Sweden, to finance future payouts on pay-as-you-go pensions."
Trustees lack expertise, time and resources to develop effective communications on technical pensions issues and need professional help, a major review of the British Steel saga has concluded.
In this week's Pensions Buzz, we want to know if you think trustees should consult directly with members before agreeing to a DB superfund buyout.
Thousands of savers taking tax-free lump sums ahead of retirement are at risk of a pensions shortfall in later life due to neglecting their remaining pot, Zurich has warned.
Professional Pensions is looking to update its list of pensions master trusts in the UK ahead of authorisation. Can you help?