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Aon International Retirement Monthly Newsletter – December 2020

Welcome to the final edition for 2020 – and whilst many will be coming up to their busiest time of the year, I hope you will find time to have a look at some of our content below, and that you will also have the chance for a well-earned rest after an eventful year! We will be taking a break over the festive period to bring you fresh insights for 2021 in a combined January/February issue.

Past editions of our newsletters can be found on the International Retirement & Investment section of our global website.

Meanwhile, Happy Holidays, and as ever, please do let us know of any feedback or what you'd like to hear more of.

From Colin Haines, Partner, International Retirement & Investment



International Discount Rates Newsletter
A reminder that we have launched a new Newsletter, where we cover how discount rates, inflation rates and investments are evolving in 2020, including details and consequences of COVID-19. An update based on end of November market conditions is available here.

2019 Global Accounting Assumptions Survey
As the 2020 year end approaches, our annual survey of global IAS19/US GAAP accounting assumptions will be of use to companies when setting preliminary assumptions for 2020 year-end and budgets for 2021.


UK/EU: Benefits and Brexit - paper
With just a month to go until the end of the Brexit transition period and conflicting messages on how social security relations with the EU27 will play out, it's important employers consider the potential pensions and benefits implications for their mobile employees. Here are our suggested steps.

Switzerland: Retirement & Investment News
Recent changes have been made to pension plan regulations in view of COVID-19, including measures to ensure companies' sufficient liquidity. To learn more about the COVID-19 law and other updates on Swiss retirement, such as 2020's key old age pension figures, click here (French) or here (German).

UK Risk Settlement Bulletin – Q4 2020 issue
This quarter's issue of the UK Risk Settlement Bulletin is now available and covers issues in the risk settlement market, including COVID-19 mortality and the investment perspective of buy-ins. Click here to access the Q4 issue.

UK Aon In Sight – November
Our quarterly summary of pensions issues covers government consultations on climate risk governance and on DC consolidation and investment, preparing for pensions dashboards, and a round-up of other news. Click here to learn more.

Cyprus: Defined Contribution Provident Fund Survey 2020
This report covers how DC schemes in Cyprus measure up across key areas, including strategy, scheme design, contribution levels, investment approaches and member engagement. It also includes insights from Aon experts on what the findings mean now and for the future shape of workplace savings objectives. Click here to download the full report.

UK: Member options – digital conference
With all the recent changes in the market, including regulatory developments and changes as a result of COVID-19, this digital conference explores why now may be the right time to review your strategy on member options. Click here to hear from key industry figures and clients who have refreshed their approach to member options, sharing insights of their experiences in supporting members and scheme funding.

UK: Focusing on distressed employers – Aon Podcasts
In December’s retirement market update podcast, Aon’s Ricky Marsh is joined by Aon’s Pau Heeley and Becky McGowan to discuss how pension plans can protect themselves from sponsoring employer distress. All the retirement market update podcasts can be found here.

UK: Collective Defined Contribution Schemes – white paper
Collective Defined Contribution plans are widely used in countries such as Canada and the Netherlands but are currently not permitted in the UK. This white paper explores the research Aon UK has conducted, which demonstrates that CDC plans can offer advantages of cost certainty to employers and better outcomes than DC in terms of higher average pension incomes.


Japan Severance Practice Pulse Study
As the Japanese economy continues to slow down, companies are choosing to implement voluntary programmes over outright dismissals. Aon Japan's pulse survey explores the workforce reduction programmes of up to 75 multinational companies operating in Japan. Click here to view the press release.

Singapore Financial Wellbeing Survey – to be published soon
Many thanks to those who participated in our Singapore Financial Wellbeing and Retirement Survey. Results will be published soon; please click here to send an email to register interest in receiving the results.


US Retirement Legal Consulting and Compliance Quarterly Update
The Retirement Legal Consulting & Compliance practice's Quarterly Update is now accessible via this link and investigates recent benefit-related developments, and consulting opportunities for Q4. This quarter, topics include Pooled Employer Plans (PEPs), proxy voting rules, fiduciary and litigation updates, and Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Department of Labor, and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) guidance.

US: Pooled Employer Plans, SECURE 2.0, and the Future of Retirement Security – webinar
Rick Jones, Aon Retirement Solutions, hosted a special webinar on December 8th on retirement policy, PEPs, and the future of retirement security. He was joined by key Washington speakers, including Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland. This webinar is a good way to prepare for Aon's planned PEP launch in January 2021. Click here to view the recording.

US: Year-End Plan Amendments and Considerations
As we approach the end of 2020 and evaluate the need for required or optional amendments to retirement plans either between now and year-end or during 2021 (and in some cases before the end of 2022), now is the time for sponsors of qualified plans to review recent developments and other regulatory guidance that may impact their defined benefit and defined contribution plans' operations. Click here to view a summary of plan amendments for 2020 and 2021 that retirement plan sponsors may want to consider.


Market outlook for Q4 2020 – Aon Investments video
Aon's Global Asset Allocation team has prepared an 8-minute video on our market outlook, reflecting recent events such as the U.S. elections and COVID-19 vaccine developments, and discussing key actions that should be taken. Click here to view the video (access code: aon2020).

UK Retirement & Investment Research
Our Investment Team has published the results of recent research aiming to explore pension schemes' top investment challenges. Our latest research follows in-depth interviews with 20 pension scheme decision-makers to discuss their top investment challenges. The result is an insightful piece of leadership broken down into 5 reports covering investment governance, responsible investments, endgame planning and de-risking, costs and transparency, and The Pension Regulator’s DB funding code of practice. Click here to access these reports.

US: Department of Labor Guidance on ESG and Responsible Investment - video
This video covers the evolving Department of Labor guidance on ESG and responsible investment. It includes a summary of pre-2020 regulatory guidance and explores the Final Rule of October, which is viewed as the most restrictive one yet, and what this means going forward. Click here to learn more (access code: aon2020).

US: Responsible Investments Overview - video
In this 9-minute video, Meredith Jones, Aon Partner, discusses the increasing demand for ESG and Responsible Investment, especially in 2020, in view of COVID-19, social justice, and the regulatory landscape. The video is accessible here (access code: aon2020).


India: Labour Codes – Impact on Rewards webinar
India is currently undergoing extraordinary Labour Law reforms. Join Aon India on 17 December to prepare for the potential impacts these may have on your budget and to learn more about the key provisions of the Labour Codes and the potential impact on compensation structures and benefits, as well as retirement benefits liabilities.


As usual, we have a range of recent recordings for you to catch up on – starting with the International Retirement Hot Topics series, all of which are held in English and cover various trends in retirement benefits and financial wellbeing with suggested action points for employers:

  1. Netherlands (held in April)
  2. Switzerland (held in July)
  3. Philippines (held in August)
  4. China and Hong Kong SAR (early September)
  5. Japan (late September)
  6. France, Italy and Spain (held in October)
  7. Belgium (including cross-border pensions) (held in December)

You or your colleagues may also be interested in accessing these recent webinars, available in local language:

  1. Canada (French or English): The Importance of Employee Retirement Readiness – Our perspective on Capital Accumulation Plans
  2. Ireland (English): DC Pension Survey 2020 – trends and highlights (mentioned in Surveys and Thought Leadership above)
  3. Ireland (English): Risk Management for Irish Defined Benefit Pension Schemes webinar
  4. Netherlands (Dutch): Incoming Pension Reforms
  5. Norway (Norwegian): Pension Reforms – Personal Accounts – click to request access
  6. Switzerland: September 2020 IAS19/US GAAP accounting assumptions webinar (contact Mary Ann McNally and Erin Peters in Aon Switzerland for more information)
  7. Taiwan (Mandarin): Defined Benefit De-risking (see also paper in English)
  8. UK: Rocky 2019 and Rollercoaster 2020 – Accounting Strategy Webinar
  9. UK: Aon's DC & Financial Wellbeing Conference. This six-session virtual conference covers a range of themes from setting and achieving your DC objectives to engagement and financial wellbeing.
  10. UK: Financial wellbeing: the short-term, the medium-term and the new normal – COVID-19 Response Webinar. Aon's financial wellbeing experts explored steps that employers and trustees can consider in response to the coronavirus crisis, and looked at employee financial wellbeing trends likely to shape future pension and benefit design.
  11. UK: Member Options: How to Protect & Support your Pension Scheme Members – COVID-19 Response Webinar. Aon's Member Options and Administration specialists were joined by a leading IFA firm to explore how pension schemes can support and protect members during the coronavirus crisis.
  12. UK: Aon's GMP Equalisation Webinar – Outcome of the Lloyds Hearing 2020, in association with Pinsent Masons. This webinar explores the possible consequences of the latest judgment and outlines the actions you need to take quickly due to the potential impact on the company and scheme account.
  13. US: Is Hindsight 20/20? Preparing Your Retirement Plan Finances for Year-End Amidst Ongoing Uncertainty. This webinar provides an update on our quickly evolving environment, as well as insights on how the changes the pandemic has wrought should be reflected in year-end financials, 2021 budgets and investment strategies.
  14. US: Managing Pension Risk Virtual Session presenting leading pension investors, industry consultants, and asset managers, discussing the effects of 2020 market volatility on pension fund investments.
  15. US: Pooled Employer Plans, SECURE 2.0, and the Future of Retirement Security.


Visit Aon's Global Retirement Updates for the latest legislative developments.

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