€35 ($40 USD)


90 ($110 USD)



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


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 and other insights and best practices.

MODERATOR: Lyle Teichman, Willis Towers Watson
PANELISTS: Terry Moore, Greenberg Traurig LLP, U.S.A, , Canada, Elise Laeremans, Younity, Belgium, Deidre Phillips, Bowmans, South Africa


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?

    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 


    On average, women are paid 60 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts for similar work, according to the Global Gender Pay Report 2020. Research from the American Association of University Women (AAUW) lays bare the effect of the gender pay differential. The AAUW attributes an additional ten years to student loan repayment for female graduates as a result of the 26% gender wage difference between non-minority men and women in the USA. 

    Delayed or reduced pension contributions are but one of many issues that are engendered by wage disparity. Reduced contributions immediately translate to reduced savings that may generate pensions falling significantly below the recommended threshold of 70% of one’s pre-retirement salary - a leading cause of pension poverty. To benefit from the same pension as their male counterparts many women would have to save significantly more over an extended period.   This, coupled with the fact that women live longer and often experience old age health-related issues earlier, places women in a far more vulnerable position than men.

    COVID-19 has underscored the fact that the social construct that regards the woman as the primary caregiver is entrenched in most societies.  According to McKinsey Global Institute’s COVID-19 and Gender Inequality: Countering the Negative Effects report, at least 75% of the burden of unpaid care including caring for the young, elderly cooking, and cleaning rests on the shoulders of women. This has been significantly increased in the pandemic and exacerbates employment and economic fallout among women thereby reducing the ability to ensure retirement security.

    The panel will focus 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.

    New and urgent pension related issues are also emerging in the area of gender.  What are the effects of genderfluidity on pensions? How should we deal with gender differentiated annuity pricing? What use are mortality tables in this new world? How to deal with survivors' pensions in “newly mixed” couples?For occupational pensions, some Member States in the EU are considering voluntary schemes with auto-enrollment and opt-out mechanisms instead of collective obligatory schemes. Is the opt-out gender neutral or not?

    The panel will also explore the differences between men and women in retirement plan sponsorship, eligibility and participation, as well as differences in wages, all leading to less retirement savings and readiness.  How does longer life expectancy and caregiving affect female retirement readiness?  

    Gender and diversity issues in and around pension schemes lead to a further deepening of social inequality across the globe. The gender gap in retirement security is therefore an important aspect of economic inequality and a challenge to pension professionals.

    MODERATOR: Sanya Goffe, President, Pension Industry Association of Jamaica and Partner, Hart Muirhead Fatta, Jamaica
    PANELISTS: Joelle Saad-Lessler, Stevens Institute of Technology, USA, and Prof. Dr. Yves Stevens, of the University of Leuven, Belgium


    As retirement security becomes increasingly digital, there are more opportunities for theft of data and assets of retirement schemes. The panel will be comparing the regulatory framework around the requirements for protecting retirement schemes as well as discussing the intersecting trends in criminal activity and liability.

    Cybersecurity issues for retirement schemes continue to multiply with attacks becoming more common and legislators, regulators, and courts becoming increasingly active. The panel will focus on:

    • What is cybercrime and how does it impact pension schemes.
    • Guidance from regulators, including the UK’s Pensions Regulator’s April 2018 regulatory guidance, “Cyber security principles for pension schemes” and the US Department of Labor’s April 2021 tip sheets and best practices.
    • Recent developments in Canada and Australia.
    • Litigation developments, including recent cases in each jurisdiction where scheme assets have been stolen.

    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:

    • Whether there are clear rules in each jurisdiction
    • Constraints imposed due to participant need to access information and assets
    • Who bears the risk of loss when cybercrimes occur
    • Similarities in processes for protecting against cybercrime
    • Differences in processes across jurisdictions
    • To what extent are regulators or legislators currently active in developing clearer rules
    • The role of insurance

    MODERATOR: Kevin Walsh, Groom Law Group, Chartered, USA
    PANELISTS: Andrea Boctor, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, Canada, George Sepsakos, Groom Law Group, Chartered, USA

     T U E S D A Y,  D E C E M B E R  7,  2 0 2 1  
    12pm EST, 5pm GMT, 6pm CET, 7pm SAST, 4am AEDT

    The panel will discuss the legal issues that arise out of liability driven investment strategies and  buy-in and buy-out annuity and longevity swap transactions in their respective jurisdictions, including:

    • Some key considerations in implementing a pension plan LDI investment strategy.
    • Whether longevity swaps are regulated as insurance or can be regulated as a capital markets transaction.
    • Some practical issues in managing the legal aspects of a buy-in or buy-out transaction.
    • Managing credit risk on the insurance company on buy-in annuity policies and what types of collateral arrangements can be put in place to protect against insurance company insolvency.
    • Issues raised by partial buyouts and fairness of treatment between the members being bought out and the members being retained in the pension plan.
    • Issues over obtaining a good discharge for the pension plan and the plan sponsor, in relation to buy out policies.

    The following are some recent examples of transactions in this area which you may not know about:

    • Canada: C$ 1.8 billion buy out of General Motors Canada pension plan pre June 2020 retirees liabilities. Read more here. 
    • UK: pension buy-outs and buy-ins and longevity swaps forecast to exceed ¬£55 billion in the UK in 2021. Read more here
    • the US: are buy-outs of DB pension plan obligations cheaper than paying them from the plan. Read more here.

    MODERATOR: Susan Nickerson, Torys LLP, Canada 
    PANELISTS: Hugh Kerr, Canada, Charles Magoffin, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, UK, Izzy Goldowitz, The Wagner Law Group, USA

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