The General Dental Council 1970 Pension and Life Assurance Plan Statement of Investment Principles July 2011

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1 1 Introduction 1.1 The Scheme The General Dental Council 1970 Pension and Life Assurance Plan Statement of Investment Principles July 2011 The Plan has two sections - a Final Salary section and a Defined Contribution section. 1.2 Purpose of Statement The Statement sets out the principles governing decisions about investments for the Plan in accordance with Section 35 of the Pensions Act 1995 as amended by Section 224 of the Pensions Act This Statement satisfies the requirement of regulation 2 of The Occupational Pension Schemes (Investment) Regulations All fund members and beneficiaries are entitled to view this statement. 1.3 Advice and Consultation Whilst the Trustees will consult with the Employer, neither the Trustees nor any insurance company or investment manager to whom they delegate any discretion shall require the consent of the Employer to exercise any investment power. 1.4 History This is the third Statement of Investment Principles that has been prepared by the Trustees of The General Dental Council 1970 Pension and Life Assurance Plan (the Plan) following written advice from Broadstone Pensions & Investments Ltd (the Investment Adviser) and after consultation with the General Dental Council (the Employer) as the principal employer. The original version of this statement was produced on 9 January 2006 and it was subsequently amended on 21 February Investment decision-making The Trustees will exercise their power of investment having obtained and considered appropriate written advice from their Investment Adviser. When the Trustees take investment advice it shall be from a person they reasonably believe to be qualified by their ability in, and practical experience of, financial matters and to have the appropriate knowledge and experience of the management of the investments of such schemes. The Trustees currently take investment advice from Broadstone Pensions & Investments Ltd. Broadstone Pensions & Investments Ltd has confirmed to the Trustees that they have the appropriate knowledge and experience to give the advice required by the Pensions Act Allocation of assets The Plan s assets are held in trust by the Trustees. This Statement does not conflict with the Trustees' powers of investment as set out in the Plan's Trust Deed and Rules or with 1

2 the law. The Trust Deed and Rules state that the Trustees have at their discretion the ability to invest the Scheme s assets in a manner that they deem fit. There is no restriction placed on the allocation of these assets. 4 Myners Principles The Myners Principles were published jointly by HM Treasury and the Department for Work and Pensions in March These ten original principles were subsequently amended in 2008 to form six broader principles covering effective decision making, clear objectives, risk and liabilities, performance assessment, responsible ownership, and transparency and reporting. At this time no formal review of the principles set out in the Myners report has been carried out for the Scheme. However, the Trustees are mindful of these principles when considering their investment decisions. 5 Final Salary Section 5.1 Investment Objective For the Final Salary section under which members benefits depend inter alia on their age, salary, period of membership and the Plan benefit structure, the nature of the liabilities resulting from these benefits varies between the different classes of member (active members, deferred members and pensioners). In forming their investment strategy, the Trustees will obtain and consider advice on the kind of investments most suitable to match each different liability. The Trustees are responsible for the proper and secure investment of the Plan s assets and a basic investment objective is to ensure that funds will be available to secure members benefits as they fall due. A further objective is to achieve a reasonable rate of return commensurate with an acceptable level of risk. 5.2 Asset Allocation The Scheme s assets comprise a with-profits insurance policy with Friends Provident and an investment in a pooled equity fund Insurance policy asset The Scheme s insurance policy provides investment returns on a with-profits basis and includes embedded guaranteed annuity rates which are considerably more generous than current open market annuity rates. The policy surrender terms are such that, at the present time, it would not be optimal for the Trustees to consider surrendering the policy. This position is reviewed periodically. The last major review was conducted in May 2010 and a report was produced by Broadstone Pensions & Investments Ltd. Following the review, the Trustees agreed to retain the policy, subject to assessment at a later date. 2

3 The underlying assets of the Friends Provident with-profits fund over time are shown below: Date Equities (%) Property (%) Fixed Interest and Other (%) 31-Dec Dec Dec Dec Dec Dec Dec The Trustees recognise that the nature of insurance policy arrangements is such that the Trustees cannot directly control the investment strategy or individual holdings within the insurance arrangement Non-insurance assets Since 2006, new Scheme contributions have been invested into pooled funds quite separate from the insurance contract. This approach has been taken for the following reasons: To increase the asset allocation to equity type investments to a level nearer that which matches the overall Scheme liabilities. In the light of the strong Employer covenant, to be in a position to increase the risk profile of the investments, taking regard to the nature and term of the Plan liabilities. To improve the overall investment return on a risk adjusted basis. To improve the underlying security of the investments by spreading the investments between more than one investment manager. Currently the Trustees have investments in the AXA Institutional Cash Fund and the AXA Framlington UK Select Opportunities Fund. The Trustees are building up the exposure to the UK Select Opportunities Fund by making regular transfers from the Cash Fund, rather than investing at one point in time. The trustees will forgo an element of investment performance if the fund increases markedly in value, but following advice from Broadstone Pensions & Investments Ltd feel that this is advisable given the requirement to be prudent with the scheme s capital. 5.3 Risk from Lack of Diversification The Trustees believe that the Plan s assets should be adequately diversified between different asset classes. The Trustees believe that this need has been met by the use of the current insurance policy and pooled fund arrangement. The Trustees will have regard to this requirement in future investment strategy reviews. 5.4 Risk from Unsuitable Investments The Trustees have considered the kinds of investments that are suitable for the Plan. They review from time to time with Friends Provident the nature of the investments 3

4 underlying the With Profits Fund and the pooled fund, but recognise that they have no actual control over the investments made by Friends Provident and within the pooled fund. The Trustees will have regard to these risks in future investment strategy reviews. 5.5 Borrowing The Trustees accept that they are not allowed to borrow money or act as a guarantor where the money is liable to be repaid, or liability under a guarantee is liable to be satisfied, out of the assets of the Plan, except for the purpose of providing liquidity to the Plan, and on a temporary basis. 5.6 Custody The Trustees have custody of all the Scheme s assets. 5.7 Liquidity The funds held within the pooled funds are highly liquid due in nature and therefore there is no risk associated with illiquidity. The insurance policy is by nature a long-term contractual agreement. Although insurance policies can be surrendered if deemed appropriate the surrender process would take some time and therefore the Trustees do not regard the insurance policies as a liquid asset. 5.8 Self Investment As the Employer, General Dental Council, is a statutory body this issue does not arise. 5.9 Characteristics of the Various Asset Classes The Scheme s current agreed funding principles imply that a return of 6.4% is required in order to ensure that the Scheme s funding position is maintained. Given that the funding principles are designed to be prudent, the Trustees expect that, over the longer-term, investment returns should be at least 6.4% Socially Responsible Investment The Trustees recognise that, by virtue of the fact that they invest in an insurance policy arrangement and in pooled funds, they are not able to place any additional social, environmental and ethical guidelines on their investment manager The Exercise of Shareholder and Policy Holder Rights The Trustees policy on the exercise of rights attaching to investments, including voting rights, is that, in normal circumstances, these rights should be exercised by their investment managers on their behalf having regard to the financial interests of the members. The Trustees recognise that, by virtue of the fact that they invest in an insurance policy arrangement and in pooled funds, they are not able to place any guidelines on their investment manager in this respect. It should be noted that Friends Provident demutualised in 2001 and there are unlikely to be any substantial rights relating to the Scheme s insurance policy. 4

5 5.12 Monitoring the Plan Assets To monitor the investment aspects of the Plan, the Trustees will receive a regular report from their Investment Adviser that sets out the performance achieved by the investments that the Plan may hold, excluding the insurance policy. These reports will also highlight any relevant issues that the Investment Adviser feels should be considered by the Trustees. The Trustees meet with AXA Framlington on a regular basis to discuss their investment in the UK Select Opportunities fund. 5

6 6 Defined Contribution Section 6.1 Range of assets For the Defined Contribution section, assets are invested differently from the Plan s final salary assets. They are invested with Friends Provident through a range of seven pooled funds. Members may choose, from the range of seven funds, the fund(s) that best meets their needs. Alternatively, members may choose not to make their own selection, and elect to adopt a Lifestyle option under which the member s investments are switched automatically from more risky funds to less risky funds as the member gets nearer to retirement. Seven funds were chosen in order to ensure the member has a range of funds so as to meet their personal needs. They can choose between actively managed and indexlinked funds and are able to invest in funds which are suited to the amount of risk they are willing to take. Members are given the choice between UK equity, overseas equity, balanced, corporate bond and cash funds so as to incorporate the level of diversification that they require. 6.2 Available funds The table below contains the funds which are available for investment. Fund Risk Description FP Stewardship Managed The fund aims to provide exposure to a diversified portfolio of ethically screened assets in order to produce capital growth and income. The ethical screening criteria of the fund will mean that its investments are more restricted than a nonethical fund. It may invest in equities, warrants, bonds, convertibles, money market instruments, cash and near cash assets such as deposits and certificates of deposit. The fund may invest directly or indirectly. FP Cash Low The fund aims to provide short-term liquidity by investing in money market instruments, bonds and cash. It may invest in bonds issued or backed by the UK Government as well as commercial paper, cash and near cash assets such as deposits and certificates of deposit. FP Balanced Index Fund of Funds FP BlackRock UK Equity Index (Aquila HP) + The fund invests in equity index funds, fixed interest index funds and cash funds. Equity investments are split equally between UK and overseas markets (split equally between the US, Europe (excluding UK) and the Far East and may include emerging markets). The fund aims to provide returns consistent with the ABI Pension Fund 'Balanced (up to 85% Equity) Managed' Sector Average. Direct investment in derivatives will also be for the purpose of efficient portfolio management or risk reduction. BlackRock states the fund invests in the shares of UK companies and aims to achieve a return that is consistent with the return of the FTSE All-Share Index. This index is widely regarded as the 6

7 FP BlackRock (50:50) Global Equity Index (Aquila HP) FP BlackRock Over 15 Year Corporate Bond Index (Aquila HP) FP Investec Cautious Managed benchmark for UK pension fund investment in shares of companies in the UK. BlackRock states the fund invests primarily in equities, both in the UK and overseas markets. The fund has approximately 50% invested in the shares of UK companies. The remaining 50% is invested in overseas companies split equally between the US, Europe ex-uk and the Far East. The fund aims to provide returns consistent with the markets in which it invests and provides broad exposure to countries around the world. BlackRock states the fund invests in investment grade corporate bonds denominated in sterling. The fund aims to achieve a return consistent with the iboxx Non-Gilts, Over 15 Years Index. This index consists of bonds with maturity periods of 15 years or longer. Investec states the fund aims to provide a combination of income and long-term capital growth by investing conservatively in a diversified portfolio of equities, bonds and other fixed interest securities of high quality and marketability. At all times the fund s equity exposure will be limited to a maximum of 60% of the portfolio value. Where reference is made to investment in high quality bonds this shall be defined as investment grade bonds. Bonds held may be corporate or government and of any duration and may be investment grade or sub investment grade. Up to 5% in value of the property of this fund may be invested in units or shares of other collective investment schemes. The fund may also invest, at the Authorised Corporate Director s discretion, in other transferable securities. In addition, cash may be held for the purposes set out in the Financial Services Authority Rules, including efficient management of the fund, and exchange traded and over the counter derivatives and forward currency contracts may be used for the efficient portfolio management of the fund. Use may be made of stock lending and borrowing and other investment techniques permitted in the Financial Services Authority Rules. The fund may, in addition to its other investment powers, use cash and near cash and exchange traded and over the counter derivatives and forward currency contracts for investment purposes. The risk factors shown above are determined by Friends Provident and are shown to members in order to guide their choice of funds. 7

8 6.3 Lifestyle Programme The Defined Contribution section offers a Lifestyle programme. This means that so long as the members are wholly invested in the FP BlackRock (50:50) Global Equity Index (Aquila HP) Fund at the time the programme starts, then starting 5 years before their retirement their fund will gradually be moved into the corporate bond and cash funds. It is possible for members to join the Lifestyle scheme either at their inception into the Scheme or at any time once they are a member. 6.4 Default fund If members do not wish to make a decision as to where to allocate their funds they will automatically be invested in the FP BlackRock (50:50) Global Equity Index (Aquila HP) Fund. 6.5 Additional Voluntary Contributions AVC assets are also invested in the same investment vehicles. 6.6 Monitoring the Defined Contribution Funds To monitor the Defined Contribution funds, the Trustees will receive a regular report from their Investment Adviser that sets out the performance achieved by the funds against relevant benchmarks. The Trustees do not meet with the underlying fund managers. 7 Review of the SIP The Trustees will review this Statement at least every three years and immediately after each significant change in investment strategy, taking note of any changes in the Plan's liabilities. Once agreed, and after consulting with the Employer, a copy of this Statement will be given to the Plan Actuary, the investment manager and will be made available to Plan members. Signed for and on behalf of the Trustees of the General Dental Council 1970 Pension and Life Assurance Plan Dated: Any enquiries relating to this document should be addressed to: The Secretary to the Trustees General Dental Council 1970 Pension & Life Assurance Plan c/o Pi Consulting Ltd 2 Allington Close Wimbledon Village London SW19 5AP 8

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