Saturday, December 14, 2013

"Valuation is a Dark Art" Con Keating at TUC Pension Trustee conference 2013

Picture of Con Keating, Head of Research at Brighton Rock making our heads hurt at the TUC Pension trustee conference last month.

Many people nowadays say defined benefit pension pension schemes are "dead".  They are unaffordable, volatile, people are living longer etc. 

Con travels to South Korea as a consultant to set up brand new Company DB schemes despite the Koreans having amongst the highest life expectancy in the world. 

In a nutshell Con makes the argument that the way we measure DB pension investment values and liabilities is just absolutely wrong and schemes have been closed down left, right and centre for no real good reason whatsoever. We should instead measure on a "fair value" approach.

Instead of outdated,  unstable and irrelevant "mark to market" valuation you should be more concerned with cash flows and the ability of the pension scheme to pay its actual liabilities not what it might cost in 60 years hence.

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