Trustees need respite from legal changes to focus on good member outcomes warns RSM

Commenting on the news that the Pensions Regulator is taking a tougher stance on trustees who fail to comply with the law on defined contribution scheme returns, Karen Tasker, Head of DC in RSM’s Pensions Group said:

‘The Pensions Regulator has highlighted that scheme return completion rates have fallen for the second year running, down 18 per cent from January 2014 to January 2016. Working with DC trustees and chairing the Pension Research and Accountant’s Group DC Working Party, I am not surprised that trustees are failing to meet every task expected of them. The legal changes have come in thick and fast and this has inevitably meant more pressure on DC arrangements – and particularly those which are poorly resourced. There is now a genuine need for recognition that trustees need to focus on the delivery of good member outcomes, rather than being constantly diverted by onerous compliance requirements.

‘The Pensions Regulator tries to strike a balance by encouraging trustees to demonstrate compliance with their DC duties. This is clearly welcome and there are many tools available to assist. However, Trustees will also now need to take time to consider the consultation on the new DC ‘How to Guides’ which were released last week.’