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    Value for Members – can small schemes get it right?

    14 July 2023

    Nick Frankland

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    1 minute read

    ‘Big is good, small is bad'?

    Research from The Pensions Regulator (TPR) published this week has found that 64% of small schemes are unaware of the statutory Value for Members assessment the Trustees must undertake. 

    The regulator’s DC schemes survey 2022 showed that trustees of many small schemes are unaware of their duties around new value for members assessments, and that smaller schemes are less likely to take action on financial risks caused by climate change than larger ones. 

    The requirements placed on small trust-based schemes are increasingly complex, ranging from the Chair’s Statement and Implementation Statement through to TCFD (climate change disclosures), compliance, trustee suitability and training, and the need to prove that the scheme is providing value for its members. 

    This can lead (to parody George Orwell) to a situation where it seems that ‘big is good, small is bad’ – and for trustees, unless you can definitively prove that your scheme is good, TPR will view it as bad. It’s not enough to have a well-run scheme that provides value, you need to prove it, and the bar is set very high these days.  

    To do a good job, pension trustees need to be diligent, knowledgeable, and thorough. In today’s regulatory environment, even the best have to work hard to meet TPR’s requirements. 

    The good news is that there’s a solution available to trustees of small schemes who are concerned about their scheme, or simply no longer want to have the burden of meeting the gamut of compliance requirements, and proving to TPR that it’s being run well. 

    Moving to a bigger arrangement such as a Master Trust can relieve the trustees of a small scheme of administrative worry, as well as providing better value for members thanks to its economies of scale.  

    There will be a cost attached to moving, but if you’re looking to provide a better alternative for the members of your small scheme members, we believe it’s well worth considering a move to a Master Trust. 

    We’ve helped many clients make this move, and we’d be happy to talk to you. Click here to get in touch with our expert team. 

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    It’s not enough to have a well-run scheme that provides value, you need to prove it, and the bar is set very high these days.  

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