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Aon International Retirement Monthly Newsletter – January/February 2021

Following the very busy start to the year here is the latest edition of Aon's International Retirement newsletter. We have lots of live and recorded content from all around the globe. As always, please let us know if you have any feedback or what you'd like to hear more of.

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

From Colin Haines, Partner, International Retirement & Investment



International Accounting Assumptions Newsletter
A reminder that we have launched a new newsletter, where we cover how discount rates, inflation rates and investments evolve globally, including details and consequences of COVID-19. An update based on end of December market conditions is available here.

Why wealth benefits are a prerequisite to health benefits
More and more companies are offering benefits to attract a retain top talent, but often more rudimentary benefits are needed to create a springboard for employee wellbeing. In order to ensure companies reap the rewards, employers first need to understand the essential foundation for employee wellbeing. Click here to learn more.


Aon Cyprus MAP Fund wins Best Pension Fund award!
MAP Fund participated in the IPE European Pension Funds Awards and won the title of Best Small Pension Fund (assets less than EUR 1bn) and received several other European industry commendations. The award caps off a year of important milestones for the Fund, which has now engaged with over 165 employers in Cyprus and Greece, covering over 2,800 members, as a turn-key provident fund solution ensuring that their pension savings are professionally managed. Click here and here for more information.

Germany: Aon Client Stories
Aon Germany assisted a Large Food & Beverage sector multinational in redesigning its pension scheme last year. This webinar (German) held in November covers the key questions the company was faced with during the project, including how to navigate today’s low interest environment and how to meet employees’ expectations while managing any risks that may arise. For more information, please contact Carsten Hölscher.

Germany: Payment types - survey
Pension plans in Germany traditionally only provide annuities as type of payment, as annuities are legally protected against settlements and deemed more valuable than lump-sum payments. In the past few years, newer pensions have been introducing member options and offering different types of payment. Click here to view the reports or contact Carsten Hölscher for more information.

Germany: Retirement News
In September 2020, the German Federal Labor Court (BAG) published a ruling on the insolvency protection of pension adjustments via a trust solution (also called "Contractual Trust Arrangement (CTA)") This decision may trigger interesting opportunities for companies. Click here to request more information.

Netherlands: Main Points of the Pension Agreement
On 16 December, the draft legislation giving substance to the pension agreement was published for consultation. This draft bill (Act on the Future of Pensions) gives substance to the agreements made between the government and the social partners. Parts of these agreements were already known from the 'Outline memorandum pension agreement' published in June. Click here or contact Heleen Vaandrager for more information.

Switzerland: LPP/BVG mortality tables published
The new 2020 tables were released by Aon and Libera on 15 December 2020. The new tables show that the life expectancy of retirees continued to grow, but at a slower pace than in the past. In comparison with the previous 2015 tables, a strong reduction of the disability probabilities was observed (ca. 25% for men and 15% for women). Furthermore, a decrease in the probabilities of having a spouse/partner at death was noticed, leading to lower reserving requirements. These tables should be considered for the next accounting valuation as auditors will consider them as best estimate. We expect the impact of the new tables to lead to a decrease in DBO of between 1% and 3%. Regarding local funding, the impact will be investigated during 2021 and the new tables may be implemented subject to Pension board decision. Click here or contact Jean Netzer to learn more.

UK: Brexit – impact on social security pensions and benefits
With a Brexit Deal struck at the 11th hour, employers will be relieved by the grandfathering of many of the familiar EU rules through the Protocol on Social Security Coordination included within the Trade and Cooperation Agreement. However, there are still complexities in the detail of the Protocol which could affect internationally mobile individuals and their entitlement to state benefits – as well as knock-on effects on some employer-provided benefits. Contact Tomm Adams if you would like to discuss the potential impact on your benefits programme.

UK: 2020 Risk Settlement Market Review
COVID-19 and lockdown threw 2020 into turmoil. In the face of this adversity, the risk settlement market was able to adapt and function efficiently to the extent that transactions in 2020 could break the £50bn mark. Click here to learn how to navigate through the bulk annuity, longevity swap and consolidation options.

UK: Superfunds – do they tick all the boxes?
2020 saw The Pensions Regulator issuing guidance for DB superfunds in June, followed by guidance on the process it expects from trustees and sponsors when considering superfunds in October. This video gives a brief overview of the recent market developments and explores how you can get insights to different consolidator business models. Click here to access our checklist and assess whether consolidation solutions might be right for your scheme.

UK Benefits and Trends Survey 2021
Our Benefits and Trends survey is now available and provides you with the latest insights on employee benefits, discussion on emerging trends and predictions for future trends, as well as insight on how COVID-19 has impacted employee benefits.


APAC: Making Financial Wellbeing a Reality
Everywhere you look, the drivers of financial stress are clear: rising costs of living, increasing childcare and education and out-of-pocket healthcare costs, pressures on the sandwich generation who care for both their aging parents and their own children, volatile investment markets, insufficient savings, increased life expectancies, and job and income insecurity. Money worries related to the lack of financial security adversely impacts on an employee's overall wellbeing, mental health and productivity. Click here to learn how Aon helps organisations understand what financial worries your employees seek support for, and here to access more insights from our APAC team.

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.

Taiwan: Tackling DB Retirement Risk
In Taiwan, employees who joined a company before 1 July 2005 were automatically enrolled into the Labor Standards Law (LSL) retirement scheme, a mandatory DB plan. Unlike other countries, the choice of funding vehicles for the LSL is restricted to monthly employer contributions to the Bank of Taiwan. With the new amendment of the LSL in early 2015 requiring companies to annually review its Bank of Taiwan fund and make sure it contains enough funds for employees within a year of retirement taking effect, employers are constantly faced with the task of reducing their pension liabilities, reducing their flexibility in the use of funds. Click here to learn more.


US Pooled Employer Plans update
The first Pooled Employer Plans went live on January 1, 2021, including Aon’s Pooled Employer Plan solution, reducing the effort required by companies that choose to provide benefits to their employees. Click here to learn more about the advantages of PEPs.

US Aon 2021 Compliance Calendar
Plan sponsors need to keep their qualified retirement and health and welfare plans in compliance with key legal and regulatory requirements, and there are many important deadlines associated with this. Our compliance calendar will help you keep up-to-date on key due dates for benefit-related compliance obligations.

US Three Ways Retirement Plans are Evolving – One Brief Article
Even before the pandemic’s economic fallout, retirement savings gaps were putting stress on employees – and employers are taking note. This article discusses retirement challenges and how DC plans are changing to potentially help facilitate better retirement outcomes for employees.

Canada Aon 2020 Capital Accumulation Plans Employer Survey Report
With Capital Accumulation Plans (CAPs) rapidly becoming the primary workplace retirement vehicle for most Canadian employees, Aon surveyed a broad range of Canadian employers to learn what they believe will make their retirement programs more successful now and in the future. Click here to view the full report.


Aon’s Global Impact Fund - video
Our new investment strategy is designed for pension schemes seeking to develop more sustainable investment portfolios, driven not just by new regulatory requirements but also by a growing belief about the best way to generate returns in a changing world. Click here to view the video and here to learn more about our approach to responsible investing.

2021 Outlook: A Vaccine Bridge Over Troubled Water?
The vaccination program and economic responses will probably be the big focus for 2021. After an action-packed year for markets, 2021 could see less drama though we expect to see elevated volatility nonetheless. Click here for more information.

Aon's Virtual Investment Conference 2020
2020 was marked by significant change and increased complexity for pension scheme investors. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, growing urgency around climate change and greater scrutiny by The Pensions Regulator – all are demanding more of DB and DC schemes’ investment strategies and operations. The conference took place in November 2020 and draws on real-world insights from pension scheme decision-makers and, importantly, addresses practical steps investors can and should be taking now to position their portfolios in response to these new challenges. Click here for more information.

Aon US Investment videos
A series of 3-5 minute videos which providing you with key topics for Q1 2021 relating to DC plans, Corporate DB plans, Public sector pension funds and Non-profit organisations (access code: aon!).


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.


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. Polish Webinar - 25 June 2019
  2. Netherlands (held in April)
  3. Singapore (held in May)
  4. Switzerland (held in July)
  5. Philippines (held in August)
  6. China and Hong Kong SAR (early September)
  7. Japan (late September)
  8. France, Italy and Spain (held in October)
  9. 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. India (English): Labour Codes. This webinar covers the potential impacts of the proposed Labor Codes on Compensation Structures, Benefits and overall Rewards.
  3. Ireland (English): DC Pension Survey 2020 – trends and highlights (mentioned in Surveys and Thought Leadership above)
  4. Ireland (English): Risk Management for Irish Defined Benefit Pension Schemes webinar
  5. Netherlands (Dutch): Incoming Pension Reforms
  6. Norway (Norwegian): Pension Reforms – Personal Accounts – click to request access
  7. Poland (English): Auto-enrolment legislation in Poland – click here to view the recording
  8. Switzerland: September 2020 IAS19/US GAAP accounting assumptions webinar (contact Mary Ann McNally and Erin Peters in Aon Switzerland for more information)
  9. Taiwan (Mandarin): Defined Benefit De-risking (see also paper in English)
  10. UK: Rocky 2019 and Rollercoaster 2020 – Accounting Strategy Webinar
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. US: Q1 Market Update - R&I Investment Series Kick-off - Investing in 2021: The Real Risk/Reward Challenge
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. US: Pooled Employer Plans, SECURE 2.0, and the Future of Retirement Security.
  20. US: Investing in 2021: The Real Risk/Reward Challenge. This quarterly webinar dives in into Aon’s market outlook and portfolio positioning for 2021.


Stay updated

View Aon’s International Retirement & Investment website
Access the latest Aon Global Benefits and Retirement Country Updates
Access our North America Aon Insights
Access our UK Retirement & Investment Insights
Access our latest APAC Retirement & Investment Insights

Previous newsletters are also on Aon’s International Retirement website:
Access the latest Aon International Retirement Updates for Multinational Employers

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