Allianz - Oxford Pensions Conference 2014: Invited Seminar, 1-2 October 2014, University of Oxford

Pension Options - Risk & Behaviour

Invited Seminar, 1-2 October 2014, Jesus College, University of Oxford

2013 was the first year of substantial relief for many pension funds - five years after the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) roared inter-national markets and precipitated yet another pension crisis. Soaring equity markets plus somewhat higher rising yields provided support for assets and liabilities and improved funding ratios. And many forecasts remain on the optimistic side for 2014 with global growth reluctantly accelerating. Are we approaching a new 'Old Normal'? Or are we already facing bubble territory - again - and should pension funds brace against extreme risks?

At this year's Allianz-Oxford Pensions Conference we will closely scrutinise the robustness of the macro environment and options for policy makers taking a long-term view without neglecting short-term risk. Policy makers are clearly not back to an 'Old Normal': Even with the EU's IORP directive currently on hold, the trend for tightening the regulatory fabric remains firmly intact.

What are the options now for pension funds and their sponsors? We plan to explore different scenarios: We will inquire into an extreme risk space for pension investing and test this against different portfolios. But we will also look at the lognormal scenario for long-term pension fund investment and model options in today's regulatory world. What would be the consequences of a Solvency II-style regime for pension funds? We will further follow up on the corporate agenda and present case studies of best-practise pension risk management.

Where does this leave the consumer of financial services? A lot of academic and practical work has been conducted on improving financial literacy and individual decision-making drawing on behavioural finance. We will inquire into the impact of financial advice and discuss the latest ideas of how best to design DC pension plans.

Finally, we plan to sound out pension policy options and revisit the rational of pension privatisation at the intersection of individual retirement expectations and labour-market dynamics in the aftermath of the GFC.

The Allianz-Oxford Pensions Conference is co-sponsored by Allianz Global Investors and the University of Oxford, Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, a member of the School of Geography and the Environment. The conference will be led by Professor Gordon L. Clark, Director of the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford.

Further Information

For further information please contact Dr Dorothee Franzen () or Professor Gordon L. Clark (), School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QY, United Kingdom: tel: +44 (0)1865 285197 and +44 (0)1865 285067.