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Pensions: Emerging from COVID-19 and Beyond


Image: Logo of IPRA

The 6th International Pension Research Association (IPRA) Conference attracted over 350 researchers, policymakers, pension regulators and industry practitioners from 65 countries. Co-hosted online on June 24 by IPRA's founding organisations CEPAR, the Pension Research Council at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Netspar at Tilburg University, in collaboration with the OECD and the International Organisation of Pension Supervisors (IOPS), the conference informed about latest developments in pensions and retirement research. 

The theme of this year's conference was 'Pensions: Emerging from COVID-19 and Beyond'.  The diverse one-day program featured distinguished speakers and examined long-term care, climate change and the impact of COVID-19 on the pension landscape, and featured a presentation on Insurance for Informal Long-Term Care by CEPAR Deputy Director and IPRA President Professor Hazel Bateman (UNSW Sydney).

Other distinguished speakers in the session on 'Long-term Care and Pensions' included Professor Eric French (University of Cambridge) who discussed end-of-life medical expenses, and Sir Professor Andrew Dilnot (University of Oxford) who discussed a sustainable model for aged care funding.

The session on 'Climate Change and Pensions' examined ESG (Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance), downside risks and potential implications for pensions, presented by Professor Laura Starks (University of Texas); as well as an assessment of climate risk for investment portfolios, presented by Professor Mathijs van Dijk (Erasmus University). UniSuper CIO John Pearce shared lessons from a large pension fund on climate change and investment strategy.

The final session explored the impact of COVID-19 on the pension landscape. Dr Olga Fuentes, Head of Strategic Research and International Affairs at the Chilean Pension Regulator, discussed Chile's experience with COVID-19 early pension system withdrawals; Professor Till von Wachter (UCLA) discussed the effects of COVID-19 on the labour market and presented short- and long-term effects of job displacement on employment at older ages; and Dr Pablo Antolin, who is Principal Economist, Head of the Private Pensions Unit and Deputy Head of the OECD Consumer Finance, Insurance, Pension Division, discussed how assets earmarked for retirement can support the economy and benefit members.

The video recordings of the talks and presentation files are available online here

The International Pension Research Association (IPRA) is a new international organisation established with the aim of improving the quality and impact of research on pensions and related ageing issues to optimise social and economic outcomes for an ageing world. Its inaugural executive committee comprises IPRA President Professor Hazel Bateman and representatives of the founding organisations CEPAR (Australia), the Pension Research Council at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (USA), Netspar at Tilburg University (The Netherlands), Willis Towers Watson, and the OECD.

Individual researchers and organisations, including policy groups from across the world, interested in pensions and related ageing issues are welcome to join the association.

Further information about IPRA is available at iprassn.org.