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2 of 3 U.K. trustees preparing for Brexit

Steve Bray, an anti-Brexit political activist, stands near European Union (EU) flags outside the Houses of Parliament in London, U.K.

Almost two-thirds of U.K. pension trustees have taken steps to prepare their pension plans for the impact of U.K.'s exit from the European Union, according to a survey of 131 trustees conducted by Hymans Robertson.

The survey, conducted in January 2019, showed that 64% of respondents have taken steps to prepare, 37% had reviewed their employer covenant amid Brexit, and 29% had considered their contingency plans.

Twenty-three percent of trustees had increased their interest rate hedging in anticipation of a fall in yields and 12% had decreased their exposure to currencies on expectation that sterling will end up falling.

"It is encouraging that almost two-thirds of trustees are taking proactive steps to manage Brexit related risks. It is good to see that many plans have implemented extra protection against market instability, with almost a quarter increasing their interest rate hedging. With yields falling over 20 basis points in March, this decision is already paying off for those plans," Susan McIlvogue, partner and head of defined benefit trustee consulting at Hymans Robertson, said in a news release.

"It is also reassuring to see that a significant number of trustees are reviewing contingency plans and the covenant of their sponsoring employer. These are key areas to keep under review until the impact of Brexit becomes clearer," she said.