The 2019 General Election sees the UK heading to the polls for the third time in five years. UK politics remains in a state of flux as the public is asked to break the deadlock in parliament. Even if no one party is able to reach the 326 seats needed in order to obtain a majority in the House of Commons, the election results may shift the balance of power just enough to allow progress to be made on key policy issues.
Brexit continues to dominate the political agenda and the outcome of the 2019 election will be pivotal in deciding how, when, and even if, the UK departs from the European Union. However, the manifestos set out the various political parties’ priorities, and details how they will address the most significant policy questions of our time. These are issues that are also at the heart of actuarial science, for example, tackling climate change, investing in infrastructure, and meeting the needs of an ageing population.
The areas we have prioritised are:
- Ageing Population – looking at the opportunities and challenges associated with increases in life expectancy and the proportion of older people in the population.
- Inclusive Insurance – looking at new approaches to emerging risks and the potential impacts on the insurance industry and different segments of consumers.
- Sustainability – seeking long-term solutions to the risk of environmental change and the transition to net zero for governments, businesses and individuals.
As a chartered body the IFoA provides an objective, fact-based and politically neutral view of the key issues facing the UK today. As an actuarial body, it is unsurprising that a key theme running through all of our policy positions is the belief that long-term problems need long-term solutions, to ensure fair and effective policymaking.
In the interest of brevity we have decided to limit our analysis to the main UK parties’ manifestos. Also included is the Scottish National Party manifesto, as they are likely to return a significant number of MPs to Westminster. The parties are listed in alphabetical order throughout our manifesto analysis document; if you wish to discuss our analysis further with one of our team please contact email@example.com.
Manifestos: top-line messages:
'Get Brexit done' is the dominant message in this Conservative manifesto, and behind the Johnson campaign. Other significant commitments include infrastructure spending plans with £100 billion of investment lined up, and prioritising spending on health, education and policing. The Conservative manifesto commits to the lowest spending pledges on public services. The government had already planned to increase day-to-day spending on public services by £11.7 billion, and their manifesto adds £2.9 billion to current plans in 2023–24.
The Climate Emergency is front and centre of the Green Party's manifesto. It proposes a ‘Green New Deal’ which is characterised by funding improvements in six key areas, those being: energy, housing, transport, industry, food farming & industry and incomes. The Green New Deal promises combined investment of over £100 billion a year in order to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2030.
Labour’s manifesto seeks to fundamentally rewrite the rules of the UK economy. There are plans to renationalise sectors such as rail, mail, water and energy, as well as a promise to invest in a ‘Green Industrial Revolution’, and reform the tax system. Labour’s manifesto also promises the highest public spending commitments of all of the parties, with an £80 billion increase in day-to-day spending by 2023–24, along with an additional £55 billion of investment spending each year.
‘Leaving the European Union is not the answer,’ is the key message readers will take away from the Lib Dems manifesto. The ‘stop Brexit bonus’ (which they estimate at £50 billion) is a core plank of their budget to reinvest in public services. Brexit aside, the manifesto also contains strong commitments to tackle climate change and spending on the NHS, social care and lifelong learning.
The SNP are hopeful for not one but two referendums in their latest manifesto calling for a second Brexit vote and Scottish Independence. Also contained within its pages are calls to reform and protect the NHS and welfare system, alongside a demands for more devolved power in areas such as transport and infrastructure.
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This year's GIRO has been re-designed as a virtual conference to offer members and non-members the opportunity to get up to date content from leading experts in the general insurance field via online webinars. All sessions will be recorded and made available to purchase and re-watch post-event on the IFoA's GI Online Learning Resource area.
This year's Life Conference has been re-designed as a virtual conference to offer members and non-members the opportunity to get up to date content from leading experts in the life insurance field via online webinars. All sessions will be recorded and made available to purchase and re-watch post-event on the IFoA's website.
This webinar will provide an update on the emerging thinking around future regulation of DB schemes:
The webinar will discuss the challenges and opportunities schemes face in evaluating end game options, choosing a target state and understanding the impact this strategic decision could have on member outcomes long after the “end state” is reached. Adolfo, Kevin and Rhian bring over 60 years of experience in the industry and a variety of perspectives as scheme actuary, covenant adviser, trustee, de-risking adviser and insurer.
Retail banking is going through a period of substantial change as it moves into the digital age. Banks have large amounts of data about their customers and about their risks. Open data application programming interface (APIs) and data science are enabling banks to use their data to offer innovative and sometimes personalised services. Data science is also adding value in risk areas such as fraud detection and cyber security. At the same time, the move to online banking is making it easier for firms including fintechs to enter banking without having to establish branch networks.
Cash-flow driven investing is a game-changer for DB pension funds navigating their end-game. Suitable for sponsors who want to reduce risks on their balance sheets. And for trustees, it shifts the focus to providing greater certainty of returns, managing funding level volatility and ensuring they have enough income to pay cash-flow requirements.
Patrick Kennedy, Partner at Gateley Legal and Founding Director of Entrust (a leading professional pensions trustee company), will be delivering an update on the latest legal developments during the course of 2020. With both a pensions legal perspective and over 25 years of trustee service, Patrick will seek to highlight how the letter of the law has continued to evolve against the backdrop of a difficult and challenging year
The talk will provide an understanding of the priorities and relationships between deficit reduction contributions, in the context of wider scheme funding, and different types of value outflow from the employer based on the working party’s recently published report.
Covid-19 has required an urgent and cross-practice initiative to facilitate the extensive impact this pandemic has across all industries. IFoA members have been keen to contribute in a different way, so we developed the IFoA Covid-19 Action Taskforce [ICAT] to coordinate our effort, with a more efficient governance.
We have over 500 volunteers and countless topics which we have amalgamated into 93 workstreams.