UK / EUROPE – UBS Global Asset Management and the London School of Economics (LSE) have launched a new research programme to assess the state of the savings and pensions industries across Europe. UBS will provide financial backing for the five-year project.

The research will look at the wider issue of the problems of an ageing population and retirement provision. It will then consider the three main pillars of pensions systems – state, occupational and private.

LSE and UBS say there are three main themes to consider when assessing pensions in Europe:
•pension fund management (including the differences in structure and challenges facing both DB and DC schemes, as well as performance and risk measurement).
•household behaviour towards savings and demographic trends (including the effects of the different forms of savings across Europe).
•public and legal policies towards pensions (including the reduction of the first pillar and the future of pay-as-you-go systems) .

LSE says setting up the UBS pensions research programme gives it the resources to build on existing research into pensions finance and policy. It hopes the research will provide policy support for both the public and private sector.

Says Paul Yates, chief executive of UBS Global Asset Management in London: “Our sponsorship of the UBS pensions research programme at LSE is very much in tune with our research-driven approach.”

LSE professors Tim Besley and David Webb will head the programme which will launch officially on May 15.