London School of Pensions & Retirement Planning

5 days 5-9 Nov 2018, London UK £4,995.00 + VAT* Download brochure Add to basket

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"Impressive course, detailed and well arranged course material. Eloquent and very articulate course instructor"
Trustee, Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund

Falling interest rates and stagnant stockmarkets are having a dramatic impact on pension schemes’ ability to fund future liabilities. The sovereign debt and global economic crises have resulted in major shortfalls in pension and retirement schemes, placing a huge amount of pressure on corporate and Government balance sheets. Several countries have a significant share of savings earmarked for retirement either through private individual savings plans or via Government pension funds. But despite rising savings rates, numerous gaps exist in private and public retirement plans and finances.
Furthermore, ageing populations in many countries are creating a significant pension burden that will require innovative and radical asset/liability management strategies for years to come.

Why the London School of Pensions & Retirement Planning?

Ensuring sufficient resources for retirement encompasses a complex set of decisions involving assumptions on asset returns, interest rates, inflation rates, longevity and future salary growth.

With inflation potentially rising in many economies, pension funds are increasingly looking to invest in real assets like infrastructure and real estate to hedge against the threat of rising prices. This negative backdrop is being played out against an environment where the corporate governance responsibilities of institutional investors and pension funds is being questioned and challenged.

This comprehensive programme addresses many of the current pension issues from both the asset and liability perspectives to give the delegate a holistic appreciation of the complex issues involved.

Course Focus

The purpose of this comprehensive course is to help delegates understand the complex world of Pension Investment Strategy with specific reference to:

  • Understanding the global pensions crisis
  • The challenge to the cult of the equity
  • The role and purpose of pension funds
  • The different types of pension scheme
  • Measuring and modelling a pension liability
  • Impact of liabilities on investment strategy
  • Pension funding policies
  • Asset/Liability management tools
  • Pension fund investment strategies
  • Dynamic approaches
  • Benchmark timing and tactical asset allocation
  • Actuarial calculations and assumptions
  • The annuity market
  • Pension risk management, pension reporting and governance


We work with a series of expert instructors, please select the course location of interest to review the credentials of who will be delivering the programme.

Bernard Duffy
Bernard duffy began his investment management career with Abbey Life in Dublin before moving to London in 1985 to work for Irish Life Assurance Plc. At Irish Life, he was responsible for investment product marketing and new fund launches and was responsible for the company’s successful entry into the single premium bond market. He joined County Bank at the end of 1986 as Research and Development executive in the unit trust division. In 1987 he transferred to the pension fund department, assuming responsibility for the management and performance of Canadian equity investments. In 1991, he was seconded to the European equity desk to manage a research project on European smaller companies. At the end of 1992, he was appointed head of the North American equity desk.

He has a B.A.(Hons) in Economics and Politics, an M.A. in Development Economics and an M.B.A. in Finance from the City  university Business School in London.

He is the course director and lead trainer on a number of Euromoney training programmes including the Investment Management School, Private Wealth Management, Hedge Funds and Investing in Art.
London School of Pensions & Retirement Guest Speakers

Guest Speaker 1

Amin Rajan is the Chief Executive of the Centre for Research in Employment and Technology in Europe (CREATE) – a pan-European network of prominent researchers undertaking high level advisory assignments for government, financial institutions, multinational companies and supranational agencies. Much of his recent research and consulting has focused on leadership and strategy in investment management organisations. With KPMG he has now published two international studies on structures and strategies for 21st century asset management. His work has proved so influential that he now provides leadership coaching to Chief Executives, executive committees and investment specialists in a range of companies, including: Deutsche Asset Management, Dresdner RCM, HSBC Holdings, Invesco, Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, UBS Asset Management, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Virgin One Account. As well as appearing on radio and television regularly, he contributes feature articles to The Financial Times Fund Management Bulletin and has published numerous books and articles on leadership. In 1998 he was awarded the Aspen Institute’s Prize in Leadership. Prior to establishing CREATE, he worked as an economic advisor for the UK Cabinet Office and HM Treasury.

Guest Speaker 2

Bobby Riddaway is currently the Head of Investment Consulting at Capita Employee Benefits. He provides investment advice to trustees and plan sponsors of UK pension schemes and is responsible for the management of the UK client teams.
He has 17 years’ experience in investment. He worked for HSBC for eight years helping to build and develop their ALM capabilities and latterly as Head of Investment Strategy. Most recently he spent three years at Hewitt, advising major UK and international pension schemes and also led their Liability Driven Investment team.
He started his actuarial career at the Co-operative Insurance Society where he led their financial modelling team and qualified as a Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. He is a regular contributor at conferences, as speaker and chair, both in the UK and overseas and is currently serving on the Finance and Investment Board of the Actuarial Profession and the Association of Consulting Actuaries Investment Sub-Committee. He has also written numerous articles on a variety of investment topics.

Guest Speaker 3

Georg Inderst is the Principal of Inderst Advisory and an independent consultant on pension funds, institutional investors and international organizations, based in London.
He was a Professional Trustee and Director of Law Debenture Pension Trust Corporation in London. Previously, he was a Director of F&C Investment Management where he headed the Global Asset Allocation and Fixed Interest teams. He joined Foreign & Colonial from Hypo-Bank in Munich.
He has a PhD in Economics and Social Sciences from the University of Vienna and an MSc in Economics from the London School of Economics. He is frequently invited to speak and write about asset allocation, investment strategy, infrastructure, pensions and governance topics. He is also a judge of the IPE European Pension Funds Award, Real Estate Award, and the Portfolio Institutional Awards, and acts as a referee for a range of academic journals.




Central London Hotel Venue

All courses are held at four or five star venues in Central London, Zone 1. We strive to provide you with a training environment of the highest quality, to ensure that the whole learning experience exceeds your expectations.

Your training venue will be confirmed by one of our course administrators approximately 3-4 weeks before the course start date. If you need help booking accommodation for your visit to our training courses, please contact and one of our partners will help you get the best rate possible.

Related Courses



Do you have five or more people interested in attending this course? Do you want to tailor it to meet your company's exact requirements? If you'd like to do either of these, we can bring this course to your company's office. You could even save up to 50% on the cost of sending delegates to a public course.

To find out more about running this course in-house:

Our Tailored Learning Offering

If you want to run this course at a location convenient to you or if you want a completely customised learning solution, we can help.

We produce learning solutions that are completely unique to your business. We'll guide you through the whole process, from the initial consultancy to evaluating the success of the full learning experience. Our learning specialists ensure you get the maximum return on your training investment.


We can offer any of our public courses delivered at your office or we can devise completely tailored solutions:

Read more about our offering or complete a call back request to speak to a learning specialist.



Day 1

The Fundamentals of Pension Funds

The Controversy Surrounding Pension Funds – a Global Perspective

  • The global pensions crisis – European, U.K. and American perspectives
  • The rising costs of funding pension schemes
  • Pension fund deficits, sovereign debt and sovereign default risk
  • Rising longevity and rising dependency ratios
  • Falling real and nominal returns
  • Ruptures in the investment value chain
  • Gaps in governance structures
  • Do Asia Pacific pension funds suffer the same problems?
  • The growing importance of Asia Pacific pension funds in global financial markets
  • Characteristics of the Australian and New Zealand pension markets
  • Overview of Sovereign Reserve Pension Funds

Trainer Led Discussion: Pension Fund Capitalism
Delegates will assess the outlook for pension funds in the Asia-Pacific region against those in the developed markets of the U.S., U.K. and Europe 

Pension Fund Basics

  • The role and purpose of pension funds
  • The role and function of the various parties – trustees, sponsors, actuaries, consultants and investment managers
  • The link between asset allocation, capital structure and financial risk
  • The pension fund as a financial business and as part of the company
  • Sources of wealth in a pension fund
  • The fundamental pension equation
  • The pension fund map and organisational structure – know your stakeholders
  • Creating value in pension funds

Exercise: A multiple choice exercise on the basics of pension finance   

The Different Types of Pension Scheme

  • An overview of social security and state pension schemes
  • General characteristics of pay-as-you-go schemes
  • The changing role of private pensions
  • Plans for reforming state social pensions
  • Public-private, DB-DC, mandatory-voluntary, means tested-non means tested
  • Defined benefit pension schemes
  • Defined contribution pension schemes
  • Hybrid defined benefit, defined contribution schemes
  • Should DB pension schemes be career average or final salary?

Case Study: Defined Benefit Vs Defined Contribution Pension Schemes
Delegates will design a checklist on the factors to consider in designing a DB scheme and a DC scheme

 Guest Speaker Presentation: Investing in the Age of Volatility

  • Why will markets remain volatile for the next 5 years
  • How can pension plans convert volatility into an investment opportunity
  • As old style diversification no longer works, what will the new style look like
  • Where will the return come from
  • What do pension funds need to do to ensure that investing is not a loser’s game for them

Led by Amin Rajan, CEOCentre for Research in Employment and Technology in Europe (CREATE)

Day 2

Pension Fund Asset-Liability Management

Pension Fund Liabilities

  • Measuring and modelling a pension liability
  • Selecting the appropriate discount rate
  • The actuarial value of liabilities
  • The liability return as a hurdle rate
  • Impact of liabilities on investment strategy
  • Liabilities and funding policy
  • Risk management and liabilities
  • Theory of surplus returns and surplus asset allocation
  • Surplus risk and the risk-adjusted change in surplus
  • Funding probabilities

Case Study: Pension Fund Liability Study
Delegates will analyse a pension fund with an asset-liability mismatch and an inappropriate asset allocation policy. They will be required to make a number of important policy decisions for the fund

Pension Funding Policies

  • Pension funding policies
  • Determination of the required funding contribution
  • The funding target
  • The pace at which the target is attained
     - Funding policies and benefit policies
     - Building and accumulating reserves in the fund
     - The lack of symmetry in the treatment of surplus and deficit
     - The relationship between pension assets and liabilities

Case Study: Pension Funding Policy
Delegates will select the fund’s appropriate contribution rate and strategic asset allocation that minimises a weighted sum of surplus risk and contribution risk

Asset-Liability Management Tools

  • Static portfolio analysis for asset allocation
  • Dynamic portfolio analysis with assets and liabilities
  • Dynamic models for asset-liability management in defined benefit pension funds
  • Minimising surplus risk and contribution risk
  • Contribution and benefit policies for underfunded schemes
  • Developing a strategic benchmark in an asset-liability framework
  • Integrated asset-liability management

Case Study: Asset-Liability Management for a Pension Fund
Delegates will examine how an asset-liability study might be conducted and how strategic asset allocation decisions can affect a number of important asset-liability variables

Asset-Liability Modelling

  • What is asset-liability modelling and why do it?
  • What can an asset-liability study realistically achieve?
  • Current issues in asset-liability modelling
  • The liability matching asset portfolio - LMAP
  • Can asset-liability modelling generate a LMAP?
  • The actuary’s confidence in the economic/demographic projections and correlation assumptions

Case Study: Asset-Liability Modelling
Delegates will review the results of an asset-liability study and design an appropriate investment strategy to match accordingly


Day 3

Pension Fund Investment Strategies

Strategic Asset Allocation and Portfolio Optimisation – Setting Objectives

  • The optimal asset allocation of a pension fund – factors to consider
  • The fund manager’s relationship with the trustees
  • Deciding on the appropriate portfolio structure and benchmark
  • Portfolio optimisation with drawdown constraints
  • Strategic asset allocation in the presence of liabilities
  • Portfolio diversification – the importance of correlation
  • The target return and minimum acceptable return
  • The return orientation of the Pension Fund – relative, absolute, unconstrained
  • Core/explore/satellite approaches
  • The importance of alternative assets
  • The importance of inflation-hedging assets

Case Study: Strategic Asset Allocation for a Pension Fund
Delegates will devise an appropriate portfolio structure and relevant benchmark for a pension fund facing shortfall risk  

Tactical Asset Allocation and Benchmark Timing

  • The move away from static benchmarks
  • Dynamic approaches to asset allocation – tactical, integrated and insuredAlpha, beta and market timing
  • Market cycle analysis
  • Factors affecting asset prices in different phases
  • The equity cycle and how it interacts with the interest rate and credit cycles
  • Sector and style allocation at each phase of the cycle

Case Study: Tactical Asset Allocation through the Economic Cycle
Delegates will devise a tactical asset allocation framework for a pension fund. Emphasis will be placed on important retirement considerations like target retirement date and lifecycle issues

Dynamic Approaches to Pension Fund Management

  • Liability-matching strategies – LDI investing, duration matching and cashflow matching
  • Strategies with upside – unconstrained investing, portable alpha and dynamic contingent immunisation
  • Limiting the sponsor risk – absolute return and liability hedging
  • Generating real returns – new asset classes and structural alpha
  • Target date investing and target date funds
  • Lifecycle investing and lifecycle funds

Case Study: Dynamic Investment Approaches
Given a choice of dynamic investment approaches, delegates will be required to choose the approach that best matches the needs and profile of the fund

Guest Speaker Presentation:
Plotting a Path to Full Funding

  • Setting an objective for full funding
  • Defining a plan to achieve it
  • Liability issues to address before implementing
  • The mechanics of how to make the plan successful
  • Governance options
  • The end game

 Led by Bobby Riddaway, Head of Investment Consulting, Capita Employee Benefits

Day 4

Actuarial Considerations, Scheme Design and the Annuity Market

Role and Responsibilities of the Actuary

  • The role of the pensions actuary
  • The actuaries’ contribution to the existence of pensions
  • How the role of the actuary is changing
  • Advocate or broker; calculator or auditor
  • Conventional pension accounting and actuarial standards
  • How useful are conventional actuarial and accounting methodologies

Case Study: The Role of the Actuary

Actuarial Calculations and Assumptions

  • The actuary’s choice of discount rate
  • Why the confusion and controversy surrounding the choice of discount rate
  • Lessons from financial economics and modern portfolio theory
  • Demographic and economic/financial assumtions
  • Actuarial value of assets
  • Actuarial value of liabilities
  • Moving to an economic accounting system for pensions
  • Risk does not diminish with time, it accumulates

Case Study: Synchronising Asset Allocation and Funding Recommendations with the Actuary’s Recommendations

Scheme Design Considerations – DC Plans

  • DC scheme design in the accumulation phase
  • Risks confronting the DC member
  • Risk and control variables in stochastic pension modelling
  • Charges attached to DC schemes
  • The distribution phase of DC pension schemes
  • Optimal design of DC schemes during the distribution phase
  • The annuitisation decision

Case Study: DC Scheme Design in the Accumulation Phase


  • Overview of the annuity markets
  • Different types of annuity – purchase arrangements, coverage, variations, payment terms
  • ILRIPs – Investment-linked Retirement Income Programmes
  • Decomposition of annuity charges
  • Designing and stress-testing the various ILRIPs

Case Study: The Annuity Market

Guest Speaker Presentation: Infrastructure Investing for Pension Funds

  • Risks and rewards of infrastructure as an asset class
  • What are the characteristics of infrastructure investing that appeal to pension funds
  • The unique characteristics of infrastructure
  • Opportunities and pitfalls of infrastructure investing for pension funds
  • What is required for successful infrastructure investing

 Led by Georg Inderst, Independent Adviser, Inderst Advisory

Day 5 

Pension Risk Management, Pension Reporting and Governance

Pension Risk Management

  • Defining pension fund risks
  • Different types of risk and what they mean for a pension fund
  • Asset-liability risk, tactical risk and manager selection risk
  • Funding risk
  • Solvency risk
  • Surplus risk and contribution risk
  • Counterparty credit risk
  • Interest rate mismatch risk
  • Tracking error, VaR and downside risk measures

Case Study: Pension Risk Management
Applying a number of statistical risk measures in analysing and managing the risk in a pension fund

Longevity Risk Hedging and Transfers

  • What exactly is longevity risk
  • De-risking a pension fund
  • The potential impact of ageing populations on asset returns
  • Longevity risk transfers and pension buy-outs and pension buy-ins
  • The development of mortality-linked securities and derivatives
  • Longevity bonds and longevity swaps
  • Hedging pension liabilities with longevity-linked securities and derivatives

Case Study: Managing Longevity Risk
Delegates will assess some high profile moves by pension funds to manage their longevity risks

Pension Scheme Reporting

  • Key issues in pension scheme reporting
  • Developing appropriate reporting mechanisms
  • Reporting on funding status
  • Trustee reporting
  • Performance and attribution reporting
  • Risk management reporting

Case Study: Pension Scheme Reporting

Pension Governance and Organisation Structure

  • The pension mission statement
  • Best practice governance of pension schemes
  • Trustee board effectiveness
  • Legal and governance structure of pension funds
  • Codes of governance for pension funds
  • Ways to improve pension fund governance
  • Lessons from the Netherlands and Australia

Trainer Led Discussion: Pension Fund Governance

 Course summary and close

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