Defined Contribution (DC) Pensions are simple in concept – you define how much goes into them by setting the contribution rates, the money is then invested and, from age 55 onwards, money can be taken out. However, while the concept is simple, the practical realities are anything but.
A raft of compulsory legislation has been introduced in recent years. The key issues include:
- auto enrolment responsibilities
- trustee responsibilities for occupational pension schemes
- governance recommendations for group personal pension plans
- ensuring that all contributions are collected and invested within prescribed timescales
- selecting and monitoring default investments
In this highly regulatory environment, helping with the governance of workplace pensions and benefits is an integral part of our service. By doing so, we can save you considerable time, expense and hassle. We see our role as keeping you compliant from a legal point of view but also helping you foster good employee relations and enabling you to feel on the ‘front foot’.
We can also help ensure you meet The Pensions Regulator’s principles of good scheme management, including value for money, communications and member engagement. As part of our oversight responsibilities, if we see something that needs changing, we will tell you. This may be a relatively simple matter such as ensuring any scheme promotional material is amended to reflect any legislative changes, or it may be a recommendation to review the entire construction of the scheme.
As pension schemes mature, and as the competitiveness of insurers within the market increases, it is often the case that a review of the scheme can result in employers being able to get more cost effective packages and therefore better deals for their scheme members with reductions in management charges, for example. Being independent of any provider, we can negotiate terms without any bias or conflict of interest and where we recommend such changes, we can help construct and manage the bulk transfer of the existing DC scheme membership and, where appropriate, their accrued savings from one provider to another.
Employees often find the whole business of their pension confusing and as an employer you can’t give too much direct help for fear of being seen to give financial advice. This is where we can step into the gap since as well as corporate consultancy, we provide employee support services. We aim to improve employee understanding and engagement through group and individual sessions, providing regulated financial advice to such employees in connection to their retirement saving and planning. We look to meet such employees on a regular basis so that their plans are subject to regular reviews to help all parties concerned with their planning.
Delivering good outcomes is at the heart of our service. If you’d like to find out more about our DC services, do contact us to arrange an initial discussion.