Defined ambition: Is it time for collective defined contribution schemes in the UK? 

Held on Tuesday, December 19, 2017, 8.30-10.00am


  • David Pitt-Watson

  • Chris Curry (PPI)

  • Kevin Wesbroom (Aon)



Neither type of retirement savings plan available in the UK is wholly satisfactory. “Defined benefit” schemes are deemed too generous by most employers, their affordability is questionable, and they tie savers to the success (or failure) of their former employer. “Defined contribution” schemes transfer the risks and responsibilities onto savers – which can make financial planning uncomfortable in an era of low yields and frothy asset prices.

Could there be a happy medium? The Work and Pensions Committee certainly hopes so: it has launched a consultation to look again at “defined ambition” (or “collective defined contribution”) schemes, as a way to share the risks of retirement saving between employees, or between employer and employees – or with another third party, such as an insurer.

“Defined ambition” was a central point of the 2015 Pensions Act. But the secondary legislation to give it effect was never written – the government had its hands full with auto-enrolment and pension freedoms. Might the Select Committee encourage it to act?

Joining us to discuss whether DA’s time has come, and what that could mean for the industry, we are pleased to welcome:

  • David Pitt-Watson leads the RSA’s Tomorrow’s Investor programme, which has advocated for the need for pension reform. David is NED at KPMG and member of the board of NESTA, a former director of Hermes, and partner at Deloitte/Braxton Associates.
  • Chris Curry is director of the Pensions Policy Institute, and one of the three co-chairs for the DWP AE Review Advisory Group. A former senior economist at the ABI, he was also an economic advisor at the DWP.
  • Kevin Wesbroom is a senior partner at Aon Hewitt, member of the PPI Council, and author of two DWP reports on the issues of hybrid pension schemes.

If you (or a colleague) would like to join us, and perhaps share your own thoughts, please let us know by calling 0207 621 1056 or emailing Tea, coffee and pastries will be available. 

Sincerely yours,

Jane Fuller