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Aon International Retirement Monthly Newsletter – March 2021

I hope you are doing well, wherever you are and whatever challenges continue in your region. Over the last month our colleagues around the world have been busy producing lots of new materials covering a wide range of retirement topics including ‘On the Horizon’, a new report covering emerging legislative changes and trends impacting employer retirement provision across Asia Pacific.

We have also launched our new International Retirement Webinar series for 2021. Our first webinar last month featured India and covered the new social security and labour reforms which will have significant impact on employee benefit costs and balance sheet liabilities. Global employers with operations in India will need to spend time looking into these changes.

Ireland was featured in our last webinar on 10 March, where we covered the latest on the implementation of IORP II and new ESG rules, as well as current trends in risk management, plan design and consolidation. More information on our webinar series is contained in this newsletter.

If you have any feedback or if there is something you'd like to hear more of then please let us know.

From Colin Haines, Partner, International Retirement & Investment


United Kingdom

Pension Schemes Act 2021
The Pension Schemes Act received Royal Assent in February. This provides the legal framework for pensions dashboards, effective governance of climate change risks and CDC schemes. In addition, it sets out new criminal offences and new powers for the Pensions Regulator, together with provisions to support long-term objectives in DB scheme funding. Click here for more information.

Focusing on cyber risk – Aon podcast
This month Ricky Marsh is joined by Aon’s Paul McGlone and Vanessa Jaeger to discuss Aon’s new report on the state of cyber risk in the pensions industry, which is based on data collected from over 100 pension schemes. Click here to listen to the latest episode.

Keeping on track in challenging times – survey
Aon and YouGov surveyed over 2,000 employees across a wide range of age groups, and incomes and industries to explore the reality of DC pension provision and wider financial wellbeing. Click here to view the resulting report which provides an insight into the current financial position and pension planning of the UK’s employees.

More content:

EMEA (excl. UK)

Ireland – IORP II and webinars
Employers with operations in Ireland will be aware that IORP II has not been transposed into that country’s domestic legislation yet. It is widely anticipated that this will happen in the coming months. The Directive will see the biggest change in Irish pensions legislation in over 30 years. It will have a significant impact on both trustees and employers of DB and DC plans and both will need to consider the additional governance, resource and cost that will be needed.

You may also be interested in these webinars:

  • Aon’s International Retirement Webinar Series: Ireland
    This session explored local market developments and will help you understand new local retirement topics, as well as key changes in local legislation. Click here to view the recording.
  • IORP II: Preparing for Compliance for Irish Pension Schemes
    This webinar will enable you to understand what IORP II requires of you and how Aon can guide you through the actions that will need to be taken. Click here to view the recording.

Spain – General state budget
Taxation changes to qualified pension plans (and similar funding vehicles) were brought into effect from 1 January 2021 in Spain. These were confirmed in the General state budget. The impact of these changed will largely depend on your plan design and the pensionable earnings of members. Click here for more information.

More content:
Here are some pieces you may have missed last month:

Do not forget to view Aon’s International Retirement & Investment website and stay updated!


On The Horizon: 2021 Hot Topics for Employer Retirement Provision Across Asia Pacific
Staying on top of the emerging legislative changes and trends impacting employer retirement provision across such a diverse region as Asia Pacific can be difficult. To support you, On The Horizon covers 16 key markets across Asia Pacific, providing a short system overview and a summary of the current 2021 employer focus areas and optimisation opportunities.

Aon’s International Webinar Series – India
This webinar will give you some insight on Retirement and Employee Benefit Trends in India, including how new Labour Codes will impact pay, benefits and defined benefit accounting liabilities. Click here to view the recording.

More content:

United States

PEP Update – article
Pooled employer plans, and the Aon PEP in particular, continue to gain momentum and media attention. The Pensions & Investments (P&I) magazine recently featured a commentary article by Paul Rangecroft, Aon North America Retirement CEO, highlighting how PEPs can help level the retirement playing field.

Lessons from 2020: OCIO Model Passes Major Test of Governance - webinar
Click here to view the webinar, featuring Bryan Ward from Aon Investments USA Inc., which covers key governance issues, the importance of deep, trusted relationships and the critical role of process and procedure.

How Far Could U.S. Yields Rise?
U.S. Treasury yields have been rising since the summer, first on expectations of a possible blue wave and, more recently, due to increased optimism on the U.S. economic outlook. In addition, there are concerns that excessively loose fiscal policy could lead to higher inflation down the road. Click here to learn more.

More content:


Bill 68 in Quebec: More Than a Framework for Target Benefit Plans
The province of Quebec in Canada passed a bill in late 2020 to allow the establishment of a target benefit plans for any employer starting in 2021. This paper provides a summary of the highlights of this bill that also includes other changes in the Quebec retirement landscape. Click here to view the additional paper explaining the characteristics of the design, as well as the funding of these target benefit plans in more detail.

More content:


International Retirement Webinar Series
Join Aon's International Retirement & Investment team to hear insights on local market developments around the world. Each webinar will help those responsible for governing, managing and overseeing retirement plans to understand new local retirement topics and key changes in local legislation. Click here to register to the series.

Aon 2021 Virtual Pension Conference
The Aon 2021 Virtual Pension Conference will kick off on Monday 22 March through Friday 27 March 2021 and will run each morning from 9:30am – 1:30pm. This conference will help you reflect on your own pension scheme strategy and will include lots of real-life examples. Click here to view the full agenda and to register.


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

  • UK: Vaccines, volatility and value – charting the course for 2021.This webinar is designed to support companies in this very complex environment as they set strategies for the year(s) ahead.
  • US: Q1 Market Update - R&I Investment Series Kick-off - Investing in 2021: The Real Risk/Reward Challenge
  • US: Pooled Employer Plans, SECURE 2.0, and the Future of Retirement Security.

For additional information and other international retirement queries, please contact us.