Capabilities & Solutions

Defined Contribution

Ensuring individuals can maintain their standard of living throughout retirement is fast becoming the biggest socio-economic policy challenge facing many governments. We have moved from a defined benefit system of generous pension provision, collective passivity and certain outcomes, where everything was done for members to an increasingly less generous defined contribution (DC) system, with greater individual responsibility and less certain outcomes.

In addition to the introduction of measures to sustainably increase the number of long-term savers and savings rates over longer working lives, more fit-for-purpose DC investment strategies for both the savings phase, which is overly dependent on equities and the post-retirement phase, in a world of freedom and choice, are sorely needed. In delivering robust risk-adjusted returns, while at the same time protecting savings against market turbulence and inflation, these solutions need to be managed dynamically, embrace ESG, notably climate risk, increasingly invest in diversifying less liquid assets, such as real estate and infrastructure, given their potential to deliver secure, inflation-linked returns over the long-term, and adopt a transparent fee structure that offers savers genuine value for money. However, generating DC retirement outcomes that can be enjoyed and not endured is also a function of improved scheme governance and realising the benefits of scale from consolidating the multitude of micro DC schemes – initiatives that are mutually reinforcing and which principally rest with policymakers.

Our DC thought leadership and solutions capability addresses these and other key determinants of better DC retirement outcomes by reaching out to all stakeholders – policymakers, regulators, providers and practitioners – so acting as a catalyst for change, as well as making the seemingly unintelligible, intelligible and unworkable, workable.

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Millions of people around the world rely on Columbia Threadneedle Investments to manage their money. We look after investments for individual investors, financial advisers and wealth managers, as well as insurance firms, pension funds and other institutions.

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