What we’re seeing as the repercussions of the new VFM framework become apparent
We are now 3 months into the new value for members regime. Although there haven’t been too many completed value for members assessments just yet, as for many schemes the first year impacted has not yet passed, we are already feeling the repercussions in the industry.
There has been plenty of consolidation activity with own-trusts moving to master trusts (and consolidation of master trusts). This has improved and refined transition teams and their processes. At present, each provider is reaffirming that they have capacity for more activity, but with the new requirements expected to spur on consolidation, we‘re keeping a close eye on capacity in the market. Therefore, any consolidation should consider the ‘why’, the ‘how’ and the ‘when’?
Pension providers who haven’t historically been overly involved in the consolidation part of the market are evolving their proposition to do so. They’re improving their transition offering and methodology (including pre-funding the transfer of assets) to support clients in protecting member value during the transition process itself. This is providing more opportunity, particularly to smaller schemes that may have found it challenging getting competitive terms from traditional consolidators.
It goes without saying that pension providers of authorised master trusts recognise the opportunity to grow assets under management presented by consolidation. There is increasing marketing activity from pension providers to trustees, employers and even us as benefit consultants.
Although this is positive and reinforces the capacity and competitiveness of the market, it remains important to ensure that trustees and employers are doing their due diligence to ensure any changes protect and provide value to members.
This all means that there has never been quite such a buoyant time for pension change projects. There are opportunities to improve and protect value for members while, in some cases, also supporting employers with cost and risk management.
However, care still needs to be taken and expert advice sought to ensure that the interests of all parties, particularly pension savers, are met.
If you’d like to talk to our expert team about our Value for Members assessment, please get in touch.
The most common phrases we heard about investment markets in 2020 include words such as 'torrid', 'unprecedented', 'shock' - and the list goes on… however, what has this really meant for the pension savings provided to your employees and pension scheme members?