Letters From... – Page 13

  • Analysis

    IORPs back on agenda

    May 2010 (Magazine)

    A planned wide-ranging green paper on the state of pensions in the EU is causing anxiety in the industry. The ‘holistic’ approach of the European Commission policy paper – due to be presented in the summer – could throw into question the current ceasefire over the solvency issue for the ...

  • Analysis

    Boost to derivatives legislation

    April 2010 (Magazine)

    Flesh is being added to the bones of the proposed regulation to cover legislation of the vast derivatives markets in the EU, and the European Parliament’s EP Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) is generally welcoming of the tough stance put forward by its co-ordinating MEP.

  • Analysis

    Derivatives not WMD

    April 2010 (Magazine)

    Derivatives, and credit-default swaps in particular, have become synonymous with Wall Street wrongdoings, and in Europe authorities want to tightly regulate them, even ban speculative derivative trades. President Obama has promised reforms that would fix problems in the derivatives market, starting with trading all derivatives onto transparent exchanges.

  • Automatic for the people
    Analysis

    Automatic for the people

    March 2010 (Magazine)

    US money managers could receive an estimated $100bn (€73bn) over five years to invest on behalf of the 78m workers who do not have a pension – 50% of US employees – if a proposal by the White House is approved by the Congress.

  • Analysis

    Capital is not a panacea

    March 2010 (Magazine)

    Brussels, the Basel Committee, and other regulators striving to increase the minimum reserves of the banks have apparently got it wrong. Regulators wanting to reduce the risk of a further financial and economic crisis should concentrate their efforts somewhere else, according to the European Banking Federation (EBF).

  • Analysis

    EFRP sets out its stall

    February 2010 (Magazine)

    The European Federation for Retirement Provision (EFRP) has called for a more logical, thought-out and co-ordinated approach to pensions policy in the European Union in its strategy paper, “Beyond the crisis: Workplace Pensions”.

  • Analysis

    Funds lead reform calls

    February 2010 (Magazine)

    As Wall Street prepares to pay some of the fattest bonuses ever to its bankers and Congress remains some way from approving any substantial reform of the financial system, institutional investors such as pension funds are stepping forward to push for change – both at the political level as well ...

  • Analysis

    A year of execution

    January 2010 (Magazine)

    The year ahead in Brussels will be one of implementing measures to tighten financial legislation. But will the financial services regulatory programme align with the plans of the G20, or be diluted under pressure from one lobby after another? Whatever the outcome, no-one should expect a bump-free ride.

  • Analysis

    The sands shift

    January 2010 (Magazine)

    December 2009 may have marked the end of the downturn in US for the job market and retirement savings, after two very tough years. There were signs of stabilisation with companies starting to hire again, while employees who survived received statements from their pension funds that were no longer horrible.

  • Analysis

    AIFM Directive delayed

    December 2009 (Magazine)

    Delayed scheduling in Brussels of the Alternative Investment Fund Directive — by about six months — might be bringing smiles to the faces of the anti-reform lobby. They would not mind at all that the Directive’s final clearance, through a European Parliament plenary session, is now estimated for June or ...

  • Analysis

    Fund fees challenged

    December 2009 (Magazine)

    Mutual funds managed $1.8trn (€1.2trn), or 48%, of assets in 401(k) and other defined contribution plans in the US as of end-June 2009. Annual management fees earned were more than $10bn but these are now at risk of being cut because of two pending legal decisions. One will be made by the Supreme Court on a case about how much money-management firms can charge. The other one will be made in Congress. The House education and labour committee has already approved the 401(k) Fair Disclosure and Pension Security Act, while the Senate special committee on ageing has its own legislation.

  • Analysis

    WMD under fire

    November 2009 (Magazine)

    Brussels is set to regulate the over-the-counter derivatives market, but it could still be some time, perhaps years, before the European Commission achieves implementation of any legislative steps across the member states.

  • Analysis

    Pensions re-think

    November 2009 (Magazine)

    As the drive to reform private pensions in the US gathers pace, features of the UK’s forthcoming personal accounts system – which includes mandatory automatic enrolment, prohibition of fund withdrawal and the mandatory annuitisation of benefits – could be adopted in the US. One of the US lawmakers pushing in this direction is George Miller, Democrat Representative for California, chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee.

  • Analysis

    The pensions professor

    October 2009 (Magazine)

    Teresa Ghilarducci is one of the most watched economists and pension experts these days. She is the Irene and Bernard Schwartz Professor of Economic Policy Analysis and the director of the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis at the New School for Social Research in New York, and the author of the book ‘When I’m Sixty-Four: The Plot against Pensions and the Plan to Save Them’

  • Analysis

    AIFM: "Blood and guts"

    October 2009 (Magazine)

    The European Commission’s proposals for its Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFM) directive faces a tough time as it progresses through the European Parliament, and there could be blood and guts flying during hearings in the Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) committee.

  • Analysis

    Target date woe

    September 2009 (Magazine)

    Target date funds (TDF) are still the fastest growing investment option in US 401(k) plans. They have survived the recent hearings held jointly by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Department of Labor (DOL), and the industry’s fear that they were going to be constricted by new heavy rules has waned. But investment companies and plan sponsors must better explain TDF risks to workers if they want to grow further.

  • Analysis

    A golden age

    September 2009 (Magazine)

    “Dealing with the impact of an ageing population in the EU,” a communication from the European Commission, kicks off with the joyful view that: “For the first time in history, the vast majority of Europe’s citizens are able to lead active, healthy and participative lives well into old age.”

  • Analysis

    Solvency II

    July 2009 (Magazine)

    The European Commission called representatives of the European pensions and insurance industry and member state officials to a public hearing in May to thrash out a harmonisation of solvency rules for cross-border company pension schemes (IORPs). But most attendees were not receptive.

  • Analysis

    PBGC woes

    July 2009 (Magazine)

    What a difference nine months can make. At the end of last September, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) closed its fiscal year with a deficit of ‘only’ $11bn (€7.9bn) and its director Charles Millard was busy implementing his new “less conservative” investment strategy, under which the majority of the $55bn assets was to be shifted out of bonds and into riskier stocks and alternative asset classes.

  • Analysis

    Wild talk on alternatives

    June 2009 (Magazine)