Advocacy Talking Points 19 January 2021
The Impact of Covid-19 on Pensions
Industry experts discuss the changes to the 2020 Mercer CFA Institute Global Pensions Index and the diverse efforts by governments across the world to support their communities’ health and finances.
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Financial security in retirement can never be taken for granted. In a CFA Institute survey of over 400 defined-benefit pension plans conducted prior to the pandemic, 48% of respondents said it is likely or very likely (greater than a 60% chance) that their fund will not be able to pay 100% of benefits in the next 10 years.
Pension systems around the world faced additional pressures in 2020. Governments, pension regulators, plan fiduciaries, and millions of workers responded in a variety of ways to COVID-19. The unusual events of 2020 had several immediate effects but will also have a long term impact on future retirement income. This effect will be caused by lower pension contributions or early withdrawals, low interest rates driving down expected returns across asset classes, high government debt potentially reducing future government support, and members switching to defensive portfolios at the wrong time, crystallizing losses.
In this webinar, we discuss the changes to the 2020 Mercer CFA Institute Global Pensions Index. We also discuss the diverse responses by governments across the world to support their communities’ health and finances. Lastly, our panel of experts debates how individuals, industry, and pension systems will need to adapt in a post-pandemic world.
- Janet Li, Partner, Asia Wealth Business Leader, Mercer
- David Knox, PhD., Senior Partner, Mercer
- David Dong, Deputy CEO, China Universal Asset Management (Hong Kong) Co., Ltd
- Renuka Sane, PhD., Associate Professor, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, India
- Sivananth Ramachandran, CFA, Director, Capital Markets Policy, India, CFA Institute
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Sivananth Ramachandran (Siva) is the Director of Capital Markets Policy, India at the CFA Institute. In his role, he is responsible for advocating policy positions on issues that impact Indian capital markets, including corporate governance, ESG, and financial reporting, to name a few. Siva recently contributed as part of a SEBI working group that reviewed the related party transaction regulations. He is frequently quoted in media. Siva has nearly thirteen years of experience in financial services. Prior to joining the CFA Institute, Siva spent five years at Morningstar, and led their global index product development team. He also served as a spokesperson for sustainability at Morningstar India. Prior to his time at Morningstar, Siva spent nearly five years at MSCI where he co-authored research papers on small cap investing, portfolio construction, and economic exposure. Siva has an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow. He also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Professional Risk Management (PRM) designations, and the Fundamentals of Sustainability Accounting (FSA) credential provided by Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB).
Janet Li, CFA, MAoF, is a Partner and the Asia Wealth Business Leader at Mercer. She oversees and is responsible for Mercer’s Wealth (Investment and Retirement) Business in Asia. In her role, she leads and drives strategic growth to the business as well as its operations and implementations. Janet has vast experience working with institutional clients (sovereigns, pension, insurance, corporate and wealth management). Her experience also spans across a wide range of retirement and investment services (asset liability review and strategy, portfolio construction, manager review, selection and monitoring, investment governance and transformation, discretionary management, member communication and education and related tools’ developments) and a diverse range of asset classes (public equities and fixed income, private equities, illiquid credit, real estate and infrastructure).
David is a Senior Partner at Mercer and Senior Actuary for Australia. He is the National Leader for Research and the actuary to the Tasmanian and Western Australian public sector superannuation plans. Before joining Mercer in 2005, David was at PricewaterhouseCoopers and prior to that was the Foundation Professor of Actuarial Studies at The University of Melbourne. In his two decades in academia, he acted as a consultant to a range of financial organisations, in both the private and public sectors, specialising in the superannuation and retirement incomes area. David has a Bachelor of Arts and Doctorate (which focused on pensions) from Macquarie University and is a Fellow of the Actuaries Institute.
Mr. David Dong joined China Universal Asset Management (Hong Kong) Company Limited in 2010 and currently acts as the Deputy Chief Executive Officer, who is in charge of the overall business development, product development, and oversight of sales and marketing activities. David has more than 15 years of experience in finance and investment markets, and he is also responsible for overall business development of international business of parent company, China Universal Asset Management Co. Ltd. Prior to joining CUAM HK, David acted as the Senior Manager in the International Business Department of China Universal Asset Management Co. Ltd since 2008.
David holds a Master’s degree, and he is the International Business Committee member of Asset Management Association of China (AMAC), and Pacific Policy Council Member of ICI Global.
Renuka Sane is an Associate Professor at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP). Her research interests are in household finance, especially on household choice in financial instruments such as credit, pensions, insurance and equity markets, as well as consumer protection in finance. She is also interested in research and policy on the criminal justice system in India.