DCIF is committed to producing high-quality, thought and leadership research that highlights the issues and opportunities available to those responsible for DC scheme investment strategies.

In addition to these research projects, which are launched at free-to-attend CDP accredited events, all the group’s research reports are available to download free of charge.

What is CDC and how might it work in the UK?

CDC schemes could offer a middle ground between Defined Contribution (DC) and Defined Benefit (DB). Despite the fact that CDC has been discussed several times in recent years in the UK context, there is still some uncertainty about how it would work in practice. This research, by the Pensions Policy Institute in association with the DC Investment Forum and Royal Mail, seeks to demystify CDC and address the key considerations as it develops in the UK.

Retirement: What’s the full story?

How are defined contribution (DC) schemes navigating drawdown on members’ behalves? What are the challenges associated with investment design, in the wake of freedom and choice? And does today’s retirement data tell the full story? A group of industry experts gathered to discuss the trends they are observing in this fast-moving landscape.

Navigating ESG: A practical guide

The DCIF’s flagship research report for 2018 provides pension schemes with all the rationale they need to become more responsible investors. From a quantitative study of DC savers’ attitudes to an outline of the rationale schemes could use when communicating with them, we hope this paper demystifies the subject and provides a useful framework.

DC investment landscape analysed in Cass report

A new report by Cass Business School for the DC Investment Forum (DCIF) analyses the investment strategy of the UK’s trust-based Defined Contribution schemes in 2017.

UK Master Trusts: A Comparison

A major new study into investment strategies of UK Master Trusts commissioned by the Defined Contribution Investment Forum (DCIF) was launched on 9 February.  Seventeen Master Trusts were canvassed about their current investment design strategies and the issues currently facing them.

Barriers to Innovation White Paper

DC experts at a DCIF round table discussion voiced their concerns that members are not receiving access to the most innovative ideas in the investment universe. This paper examines a selection of barriers to investment innovation, with two specific focuses: to what extent the charge cap limits innovation, and the degree to which schemes are currently able to access illiquid asset classes.

The Engagement Barometer

The Defined Contribution Investment Forum’s industry research – The Engagement Barometer – has revealed that people who have higher incomes, and who are members of higher social grades, are more engaged with the pension savings process than those with lower earnings.

Global Plans of DC Investment Design

The DCIF commissioned Tor Financial Consulting Ltd to better understand defined contribution plan investment design in five markets: United States, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Chile and their relevance to the UK. In this paper we cover the main investment products and savings vehicles used and the outcomes achieved for individuals.

Mind the Gap – The case for relaxation of daily dealing requirements for DC pensions

There is a gap in investment standards between Defined Contribution and Defined Benefit pensions. Daily dealing imposes limits on investment options for DC schemes. However, daily dealing is not a regulatory requirement. In addition we have published a copy of the full report that was created to present the case for long term investing in DC schemes.

DCIF Glossary

A free glossary that will help people to understand some of the terminology and acronyms they will encounter as they consider DC pension investment matters.

Innovation under the Charge Cap

To discover how the industry is adjusting to the charge cap, and to find out what challenges remain, the DCIF gathered a panel of industry figures including trustees, consultants, and asset managers to discuss their perspectives on this new reality.

At retirement solutions for the new pensions era

A study into the impact of the pension freedoms on DC schemes’ retirement strategies

A new age of retirement

This report is a contribution to the debate on changes to traditional retirement models in the UK as a result of demographic pressures, longevity and the move from defined benefit to defined contribution pension schemes. This represents a new age of retirement. Current investment solutions for DC schemes have been developed to cater for the traditional cliff-face model of retirement. The DCIF believes that to cater for the new age of retirement new investment solutions need to be developed for both pension accumulation and decumulation.

Default fund design and governance in DC pensions

This report – created in partnership with the NAPF – focuses on eight case studies of DC pension schemes that have been through the process of DC default fund creation, review or improvement. We hope that this report provides a helpful and practical guide to those running DC pension schemes.

Identifying new ways to engage with savers in DC pensions

Within Defined Contribution pensions, there is a growing need for thinking about new ways to engage with savers. This paper investigates one possible new approach: that some funds could be built around a “social” objective.

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