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Finance, HR and pension professionals came together on leap day (29 February) to hear exclusive industry insights at Quantum Advisory’s latest breakfast seminar at the Celtic Manor Twenty Ten Clubhouse.

Speakers including Dan Redwood, Chris Heirene and Leah Summers from Quantum Advisory, the leading independent financial services consultancy, discussed investment, the progress of the Pensions Dashboard and upcoming changes in the world of pensions and employee benefits.

Dan Redwood, senior investment consultant and actuary, opened the event with an overview of how investment markets, gilt yields, and UK and global economies have been performing. With a technical recession in the UK in Q4 and economic stagnation since 2022, Dan revealed the impact of high inflation and the Bank of England’s base rate on defined benefit pension schemes.

Dan said: “The era of ultra-low interest rates is over. This has a significant impact on gilt yields, which have experienced volatility in recent quarters, and pension schemes; both of which require stability.

“Inflation is falling and interest rate cuts are expected this year, although not to previous ultra-low levels, so the environment is improving from a macroeconomic perspective and a soft landing is likely. However, there are a number of external factors that could still throw us off course such as geopolitical tensions around the world and disruption to supply chains.”

Chris Heirene, partner and head of technology, updated attendees on the progress of the long awaited Pensions Dashboard.

The Pensions Dashboard, delivered as a website and app, will allow individuals to check their pensions information online in one place. It aims to help savers understand their current financial standing and support better planning for retirement. Originally the dashboard availability point, the moment at which dashboards will be publicly accessible, was planned for April 2024 but has since been delayed.

Chris said: “With a revised timeline now in place, we will all be waiting a little longer for the Pensions Dashboard. While we don’t have a specific date for the dashboard availability point just yet, we anticipate this to be between May 2025 and July 2026. What we do know is that the Pensions Dashboard will be up and running by October 2026 as this has been legislated.”

Leah Summers, consultant, concluded the breakfast seminar by highlighting a number of key upcoming changes including the General Code of Practice, the abolition of the Lifetime Allowance and the allowances replacing it, and assumption changes in defined contribution pension scheme benefit statements.

Leah said: “These three changes are coming into effect very soon. The measures are being introduced to simplify the code, tax allowances and statements for trustees, schemes and members respectively.”

Stuart Price, partner and actuary at the firm, said: “It was brilliant to see so many delegates, including new and familiar faces, spend the extra day in February with us at our pensions and investment breakfast seminar. A diverse range of subjects were covered throughout the morning, providing delegates with a thorough understanding of the current pensions and economic landscape and the changes coming down the track.”

For further information and to keep up to date with Quantum’s latest events, visit https://quantumadvisory.co.uk/.