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Pensions Institute director unveils modelling tool

Influential pensions academic David Blake has launched a stochastic financial planning tool designed for advisers, pension scheme designers, regulators and members.

PensionMetrics is built on a methodology developed by Blake, who is director of the Pensions Institute, Durham University professor of finance Kevin Dowd and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Subscription costs for the software depend on the complexity required by users, says Blake, with a choice of up to 500 modules. The tool is capable of modelling the impact of salary, investment, interest rates, inflation, economic growth, unemployment and longevity risks. It can be used for both accumulating a pension pot and taking post-retirement income.

Blake says: “We built a stochastic lifestyle financial planning tool to be used for pensions. It’s built on economic foundations and a set of modelling principles developed with the OECD.

“We’ve worked for over 15 years and developed a methodology that showed what good modelling principles have to be.”

In 2014 Blake was commissioned by the Labour party to write a report on pension products. A consultation on proposed changes – including a cap on drawdown charges – has closed and the final report is due in the summer.

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