Two new surveys have been commissioned by The Pensions Regulator to gauge just how pension schemes are meeting expectations and to reveal what barriers they face. The published results have revealed some very interesting insights.
Governance and administration have improved across defined contribution schemes and defined benefit schemes are showing a better understanding The Pension Regulator's code of practice, resulting in the vast majority of people being in well-managed pension schemes.
However, the survey also revealed that amongst some smaller pension schemes, there are some instances of poorer governance standards, placing less focus on training, regular board assessments and internal controls than some of their larger counterparts. There were also numerous issues specific to defined benefit schemes, namely focusing on the fair treatment of the scheme and integrated risk management.
Anthony Raymond, Acting Executive Director of Regulatory Policy, said: "The evidence we are publishing today illustrates that while some trustees are doing a good job, many trustee boards have failed to act on our codes and guidance to meet basic standards of good governance. Members and sponsoring employers should not suffer because of apathy and we will not stand by and let it continue."
"Our forthcoming 21st Century Trusteeship campaign will support trustee boards to reach and maintain standards, focusing on the fundamentals of good governance. The campaign will launch later this autumn and we will be communicating extensively with trustees in the months ahead to set a clear benchmark for anyone working as a trustee."
"As part of our commitment to be a clearer, quicker and tougher regulator, we will be stepping up our regulatory action in cases where trustee boards fail to meet minimum legal standards, and we will publish the details of that action."
"We will also continue to examine whether sub-standard schemes should be consolidated with larger, well-run schemes."
More details on the two surveys (one each for defined contribution schemes and defined benefit schemes) can be found by clicking the following two links:
Defined contribution scheme survey and response
Defined benefit scheme survey and response