Clarity around pension regulatory requirements, a focus on responsible investing and the re-emergence of inflation were some of the key themes that dominated trustee meeting agendas and member engagements in 2021.
Despite market volatility and the continuation of the global pandemic into a second year, members benefitted from strong equity market returns and an improved outlook for growth and earnings in 2021.
As we turn our sights to 2022, this paper considers the DC trends, challenges and opportunities that may impact plan sponsors, trustees and members both this year and over the years to come.
Governance model transformation: Now that the shape of the IORP II world and the new regulatory environment is becoming clearer, plan sponsors need to engage with trustees on implementation plans to ensure their scheme has the appropriate governance and operational structures in place to maximise member outcomes.
Environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors: The growing focus on investing sustainably and managing climate change impacts all of us, from trustees and members to policymakers and the companies we invest our pension savings in.
Member financial resiliency: Focusing on financial resiliency can allow the plan sponsor to keep members engaged, productive and focused.
Inflation: Inflation is one of the key risks for a DC member. In an inflationary environment, investments may not grow fast enough to keep pace with increases in the cost of living over the long term.