On Tuesday, we held our final Future Influencers event of the year in our new offices, just off Liverpool Street in London. The event itself is approaching its second anniversary and there was a mix of familiar faces plus those attending for the first time. Despite the Monopoly-themed surroundings, there was no domination of a single entity and we were instead treated to three highly insightful presentations on current pension topics over breakfast. The Future Influencer events, for those who are unfamiliar with them, aims to bring together up-and-comers within the pensions industry, from a wide range of professions: legal, actuarial, trustees and administration, to name a few. By building networks and sharing insights around our various roles, our hope is that this will lead to more innovative service delivery within the industry. So, without further ado, let’s look at what we discussed: Alex Kennedy and Liz Richardson from CMS began proceedings with a presentation on the abolition of DB Contracting Out. A brief history of contracting out was provided leading up to details of the abolition with effect from 6 April 2016. Alex and Liz then honed in on the implications for both employers and pension schemes, with a focus on National Insurance contributions and GMP increases. It should go without saying but if a Scheme has, as yet, not reconciled its contracted out liabilities then it should begin the process asap. Download Alex and Liz’s presentation. Our very own Angela Burns then presented on the route to buyout. The need for data to be cleansed prior to engaging in any further preparatory work, such as liability management exercises, was emphasised followed by a recent case study. Angela then went on to discuss the recent Integrated Risk Management guidance, showcasing the importance of technology and stochastic modelling when identifying possible investment strategies for a scheme to adopt on the route to buyout. This also included an annuity pricing tracker, which gauges the optimum time for a scheme to pursue a buyout. Have a look at Angela’s presentation here. Capita’s Richard Seaton the rounded off the session with a presentation on the tapered annual allowance. The presentation covered the new definitions in threshold and adjusted income, along with the transitional arrangements being implemented, followed by the strategic decisions employers will have to make in relation to employee benefits. Download Richard’s presentation. All presentations were well received and followed by round table discussions. All in all, it was another successful event and here’s to more in 2016! For anyone who would like to be part of the Future Influencer events please contact Lauren Jones.