Occupational pension scheme governance

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1 GfK. Growth from Knowledge Occupational pension scheme governance A report on the 2014 (eighth) scheme governance survey Prepared for: The Pensions Regulator By: GfK Financial, May P a g e

2 Contents 1. Executive summary Introduction Key findings Survey background and objectives Introduction Methodology Automatic enrolment Reporting conventions Technical Report Self-assessment of trustee board performance Self-assessment of board governance Trustee boards policies and practices Trustee board meetings Conflicts of interest Documenting internal controls Trustee boards learning and development TKU, learning and training among trustees Trustee toolkit Publications by the regulator Management of the scheme administration Providers of administration services Administration costs Administration services Existence of documented service standards and formal reporting Member complaints regarding administration issues Pension Liberation Fraud Awareness of pension liberation fraud Pension liberation fraud policies and practices Integrated risk management and journey plans in DB Integrated risk management Plans for the scheme Investment strategy and decumulation in DC Statement of investment principles P a g e

3 9.2 Fund strategy Trustees boards understanding of scheme charges The open market option (OMO) Annuities offered to members Communications to scheme members P a g e

4 1. Executive summary 1.1 Introduction This report provides the main findings of the eighth annual scheme governance survey, conducted on behalf of The Pensions Regulator ( the regulator ) by GfK. The research was conducted among trust-based Defined Contribution (DC), Defined Benefit (DB) and hybrid with twelve or more members. The aims of the survey are: - to monitor the governance and administration of trust-based ; - to understand levels of trustee knowledge and understanding, and trustee learning sources; - to identify awareness, understanding and reactions to emerging issues such as pension liberation fraud; - to probe specific areas of DB and DC scheme practice; and - to identify any emerging issues affecting the surveyed. As in previous years, the interviewed were drawn from the regulator s scheme registry database, and the selected contacts were asked for their participation by letter or prior to the research starting. 1.2 Key findings Three in five consider the trustee board to be governing their scheme very effectively which corresponds with stated scheme performance on a number of measures Schemes responding to the survey are asked to self-assess the extent to which they feel the trustee board effectively governs the scheme. Overall, 62 consider that the trustee board governs their scheme very effectively a level similar to previous years. This finding, which is based on perceptions, corresponds with stated performance when reference is made to a number of other questions in the survey that relate to actual governance and administration activities. In particular, that self-assess their trustee board s performance as very effective are more likely than those that consider their performance as fairly effective to do the following which indicate good governance: hold a formal trustee board at least quarterly (58 compared to 31); document internal controls (79 compared to 65); 4 P a g e

5 take action to identify and manage potential conflicts of interest (94 compared to 81); receive an assurance report from their administrator (65 compared to 44 of externally administered) have a process in place to identify pension liberation fraud (86 compared to 66) Perception corresponds with stated performance on a scheme size and scheme type level. In terms of perceptions: Large 1 are more likely to rate their board of trustees governance as very effective, compared to small and medium. DB / hybrid are more likely to rate their board of trustees governance as very effective, compared to DC This year s results reinforce findings from previous years that large and DB / hybrid are more likely to display good governance attributes Schemes used for automatic enrolment are more likely to demonstrate a number of key governance and administration measures, compared with not being used to automatically enrol workers Just over a quarter of the surveyed (28) are being or are planned to be used for automatic enrolment. These are more likely to demonstrate a number of key scheme governance elements, when compared with not going to be used for automatic enrolment. In terms of scheme administration, they are more likely to be receiving formal reports on the standard of administration at least quarterly (56 compared to 40) and a representative of the administrator is more likely to attend meetings at least annually to answer questions on the report (87 compared to 74). With respect to internal controls, automatic enrolment are more likely to keep and maintain a register of trustees interests (75 compared to 61) and to have documented internal controls (82 compared to 71). They are also more likely to say that the formal process for identifying risks has made a significant contribution to new scheme controls (29 compared to 14). With regards to TKU, automatic enrolment are more likely to have in place a formal, documented TKU policy (49 compared to 37) and to have a training plan in place for trustees (62 compared to 49). 1 Refer to Table 2.1 for scheme size definitions 5 P a g e

6 Pure DC being used for automatic enrolment are more likely to have reviewed their SIP in the last three years (75 compared to 34) Trust-based increasingly taking action to identify and manage potential conflicts of interest The proportion of that have not taken any actions to identify and manage potential conflicts of interest continues to decrease: this year s survey reveals that 13 of fall into this category, a fall from the level recorded in 2012 (18). In terms of specific actions undertaken by, there is an increase this year in the proportion (81, from 71 last year) confirming that they have policies to manage trustees own conflicts of interest A minority of have both a documented TKU policy and formal trustee training plan in place. Less than half of DB / hybrid say all of their trustees have a level of TKU which meets the standards set out in the TKU code of practice Four in ten (39) have a documented TKU policy, broadly consistent with the findings in Also consistent with 2013, half the surveyed (50) say they have a training plan in place for trustees. Overall, three in ten (29) have both a documented TKU policy and formal trustee training plan. Four in ten (41) have neither of these. Among the DB/ hybrid asked the question, less than half (45) say that all of the board s lay trustees have a level of TKU that meets the standards set out in the TKU code of practice. Among those DB / hybrid with a documented policy on TKU, nine in ten (89) say that at least half have this level of TKU, compared to 58 of that do not have a documented policy. There continues to be high levels of awareness (96) and usage (79 - both figures consistent with 2013) of the regulator s trustee toolkit, whilst the majority of those who use it rate it as being useful. Among the DB / hybrid asked the question, the toolkit is the most commonly cited form of training for lay trustees in the previous twelve months Three in five administered by a third-party administrator receives an assurance report, most commonly written to ICAEW s AAF 2 standards The majority of are externally administered two in three have a third-party administrator (67) with a further one in six saying their administration is provided by the scheme insurer (16). Around half of these externally administered (56) say that an assurance report is provided by the administrator, with the ICAEW s AAF standards most commonly adopted. Schemes which are 2 The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales Audit and Assurance Faculty 6 P a g e

7 administered by a third party administrator are more likely to receive an assurance report (60), compared to those administered by an insurer (41). Scheme size remains a key factor in the administration standards reported by in the survey. In line with the results from previous years Scheme Governance Surveys, three in four (77) have documented service standards in place to govern the scheme s administration, and the majority (80) receive a formal report at least annually on the standard of administration they are receiving. Almost half these (46) say that the administrator s representative attends every trustee meeting to answer questions arising from the report. Large and medium are more likely to have service standards in place, receive a formal report annually and have an administrator address this report at every trustee meeting, compared to small Nearly all are aware of, and three-quarters have processes in place, to combat pension liberation fraud (PLF), with one in seven having suspected PLF in transfer requests A new subject area in this year s Scheme Governance Survey concerns pension liberation fraud. The vast majority of (94) say that they were aware of PLF before participating in the research, and most (78) have processes in place to identify PLF activity. Awareness of the communications issued by the regulator in respect of PLF activity is high, with fewer than one in ten saying that they are unaware of the transfer pack insert (8) or the checklist in the action pack (7). Most medium (75) and large (83) have already discussed the subject at trustee meetings and are already including the regulator s transfer pack insert (65 and 80 respectively) when responding to members transfer requests. However, adding PLF to risk registers is less prevalent among medium (41) and large (57). When asked, 14 of say that they have suspected PLF activity in previous member transfer requests. Large and medium and DB / Hybrid are more likely to have suspected an association with PLF activity (38, 14 and 12 respectively). Around three in four are very confident that their scheme administrator (75) and (where applicable) their pension scheme manager (73) will have the ability to make a decision about whether or not to process a transfer that is considered to be suspicious, however fewer are very confident that the trustee board (54) would be able to make this decision. 7 P a g e

8 1.2.7 Half of DB / hybrid that state they fully integrate the management of scheme risks, confirm that they actually manage all five specific risk activities tested in the survey As in the 2013 Scheme Governance Survey, a number of questions were asked of DB / hybrid only regarding integrated risk management and scheme journey plans. Six in ten DB / hybrid (60) say that they fully integrate the management of their scheme risks, an increase of thirteen percentage points compared with the 2013 survey. However, when asked about five specific risk management processes, half (49) of those who state that their scheme is fully integrated say that they manage all five of the processes. Consistent with the findings in 2013, the specific activity least likely to be managed is having a clear action plan in place for when tolerances or some other trigger is breached. Also in line with the 2013 survey findings, half of DB / hybrid (50) have a journey plan or flight path in place for the. Although paying member benefits remains the most common aim of the journey plan (mentioned by 74), this is mentioned by fewer than in 2013 (88). The ability to reach technical provisions, self-sufficiency or de-risk progressively are also frequently mentioned aims of journey plans Consistent with last year s results, half of DC have reviewed their Statement of Investment Principles in the last three years As in the 2013 Scheme Governance Survey, a section of questions were asked of pure DC only on subjects including the review of the scheme s Statement of Investment Principles (SIP), fund options, decumulation activity and scheme communications. Just half of DC (49) have reviewed their SIP in the last three years, with nearly one in five (17) saying that they have never done this or do not have a SIP. These results are broadly consistent with the findings from the 2013 survey. Almost one in four DC offer members only one fund, and the proportion of offering more than fifty funds to choose from has fallen significantly by eight percentage points to three percent in Of those offering more than one fund to members, three in four (75, increasing to nine in ten among large and medium ) have a default strategy for members 3. 3 The wording of this section of questions changed in 2014 from default fund to default strategy 8 P a g e

9 In terms of decumulation, one in four (25) say that all of their members have used the open market option (OMO) in the last twelve months 4, with just under one in five (17) unsure what this proportion is. The majority (90) of insured DC send their members the retirement information provided by the insurance company, and eight in ten (78) feel that the information provided meets the standards set by the ABI in its Code of Conduct on Retirement Choices. Six in ten DC (62) provide communications to members showing their projected pension against a target retirement income. In contrast, fewer than one in five (17) provide members with a combined pension statement that enables trustees to combine information about a member s state pension and work-based pension. 4 This question has changed in 2014 and now asks about the proportion of retiring members who have taken annuity from the open market in the last twelve months. 9 P a g e

10 2. Survey background and objectives 2.1 Introduction This is the eighth annual survey of scheme governance, conducted for the regulator among a representative sample of trust-based occupational pension. The aims of the survey are: - to monitor the governance and administration of trust-based ; - to understand levels of trustee knowledge and understanding, and trustee learning sources; - to identify awareness, understanding and reactions to emerging issues such as pension liberation fraud; - to probe specific areas of DB and DC scheme practice; and - to identify any emerging issues affecting the surveyed. The research was undertaken on behalf of the regulator by GfK, an independent market research organisation. The content of the questionnaire is similar to previous years; where new questions have been added or existing questions amended, this is indicated in the main body of this report. 2.2 Methodology The report on the previous (seventh) survey was published in This eighth report provides the findings of the following two survey waves: interviews conducted between 21 August and 24 September interviews conducted between 20 January and 7 February 2014 The trust-based interviewed were sampled from the regulator s scheme registry database, at random. As in previous years, the exception to this was the large where, due to the small universe, the majority of were sampled to enable the necessary volume of surveys to be achieved. The selected contacts were sent an introductory on behalf of the regulator, giving some background on the nature of the survey, explaining that the agency would be calling and asking for their participation in the research. The surveys were conducted by telephone, with an average interview length of just over 25 minutes P a g e

11 Prior to the main questionnaire, there was a detailed screening section, the purpose of which was to ensure that the individual who was interviewed on behalf of the scheme had a sufficient level of knowledge to speak about the scheme s governance and administration. The sample sizes were broadly consistent with the 2013 survey. Quotas were set to ensure that minimum numbers of interviews were achieved by scheme type and size and to ensure that survey volumes were sufficient to enable analysis by sub-group. Scheme sizes are defined as follows: - small : members - medium : members - large : 1000 or more members Table 2.1 below sets out the number of completed interviews which form the basis for this report, and shows how this compares to the 2012/13 research: Table 2.1: Structure of surveyed DB (includes hybrid ) 2012/13 (Seventh annual report) 2013/14 (Eighth annual report) members members members DC members members members Total number of interviews The sample was designed to strike a balance between the research burden placed upon the respondents, given the scope of the regulator s annual programme of research, and to ensure that, where possible, a robust sample size of at least 50 responses was achieved for each of the quota cells on an unweighted basis. DC were surveyed only in the first phase of research conducted in August to September 2013, given the requirements of the regulator s survey into DC quality features which took place in early This means that some questions were answered only by DB / hybrid ; equivalent questions will be asked of DC in the regulator s 2015 programme of research. 11 P a g e

12 The completed interviews have been weighted to reflect the profile of all with twelve or more members, according to the regulator s database. A comparison of the unweighted and weighted scheme profiles for the 2013/14 survey is shown in Table 2.2: Table 2.2: Achieved sample profile compared to weighted sample profile 2013/ /14 Unweighted Weighted DB (includes hybrid ) sample profile sample profile members members members DC members members members 9 2 All 2013/ Figures may not add up to 100 because of rounding. 2.3 Automatic enrolment With the launch of automatic enrolment in October 2012, it is increasingly important for the regulator to understand what impact the need to automatically enrol workers into workplace pension will have on how those are managed and governed. This report references any elements of the research where which are being used or are planned to be used for automatic enrolment differ from which are not being used for automatic enrolment. Out of the 449 surveyed, 129 (28) are currently or are planned to be used for automatic enrolment. 2.4 Reporting conventions Those answering the survey on behalf of the scheme they represent comprise a mix of scheme trustees, administrators, and external advisers. Throughout, we have referred to these as the scheme. Throughout this report, where the text discusses differences in the findings between scheme types or sizes, or draws attention to changes in year-on-year results, these differences are statistically significant at the 95 confidence level. On histograms, where a figure is shown in a box for example: 25, this means that there is a statistically significant difference compared to other sub-groups. In charts, where a figure is in bold, this also represents a statistically significant difference compared to other sub-groups. Data labels are excluded from stacked bar charts where a result is 2 or lower. 12 P a g e

13 The base sizes quoted in the main body of the report are based on the unweighted data. Analysis of scheme type is based on the following categories, unless otherwise stated: - DB (including hybrid ); and - DC. 2.5 Technical Report This document does not report on all questions in the survey. There is also a Technical Report, published in conjunction with this report, which outlines the responses to all of the survey questions, analysed by scheme size, scheme type and use of the scheme for automatic enrolment. For further detail on any of the questions in the survey, please refer to the Technical Report. 13 P a g e

14 3. Self-assessment of trustee board performance As in previous years, respondents are asked to self-assess the extent to which they feel the trustee board effectively governs the scheme. The other questions in the survey that relate to actual governance and administration activities can then be used to determine whether scheme perceptions correspond with actual performance. 3.1 Self-assessment of board governance Figure 3.1 below shows that the perceived level of the trustee board s standard of governance remains high, with 96 of giving a rating of either very or fairly effective. This percentage is broadly similar to the past three years findings (97 in 2013 and 96 in 2012 and 2011). The proportion of rating their trustee board as only fairly effective has fallen significantly in 2014, from 41 to 34, with a slight (but not statistically significant) increase in the very effective category (now standing at 62, compared to 56 in 2013). As in previous years, few respondents rate the level of governance as being not effective. Figure 3.1: Self-assessment of trustee board governance (All - by year) Very effectively Fairly effectively Not very / at all effectively (586) 2012 (618) 2013 (454) 2014 (449) There are some differences by scheme size and type. Figure 3.2 shows that large (78) and medium (68) are more likely than small (48) to view their trustee board s governance as very effective, whilst small are more likely to say that the level of governance is fairly effective. 14 P a g e

15 Figure 3.2: Self-assessment of trustee board governance (By scheme size) Very effectively Fairly effectively 34 All (449) Small (144) Medium (160) Large (145) Not very / at all effectively Don't know Over time, the research has shown that DC are more likely to consider their trustee boards as being only fairly effective in scheme governance, compared with DB / hybrid. Figure 3.3 shows that this view continues to be reflected in the 2014 research, with the proportion of DB / hybrid considering their trustee board to be very effective increasing significantly, compared to 2013, from 61 to 69. Figure 3.3: Self-assessment of trustee board governance (By scheme type) 39 Very effectively Fairly effectively 51 Not very / at all effectively Don't know All (449) DB / hybrid (291) 5 4 DC (158) 15 P a g e

16 Whether or not a scheme is being used for automatic enrolment has little effect on the respondent s view of the effectiveness of the trustee board s governance, as shown in figure 3.4 below. Figure 3.4: Self-assessment of trustee board governance (By whether scheme is being used for automatic enrolment) Very effectively Fairly effectively Not very / at all effectively All (449) 3 Scheme being used for automatic enrolment (129) Scheme not used for automatic enrolment (301) Don't know 16 P a g e

17 4. Trustee boards policies and practices A number of questions in the survey focus on the activities of the trustee board. With the trustee board ultimately responsible for the governance of the pension scheme, it is their legal duty to make sure that the right processes, systems, people and procedures are in place to manage the scheme, its investments and the risks that can arise. Key activities which are focused on in this section include holding trustee meetings and having policies and practices in place concerning conflicts of interest and internal controls. 4.1 Trustee board meetings Trustee board meetings are formal, minuted, occasions where the position of the scheme is reviewed and decisions are made in relation to its future. The meeting agenda should comprise a set of standard items which are discussed at every meeting, with extra items added on an ad hoc basis. Consistent with the 2013 Scheme Governance Survey, three in four (75) say that their full trustee board meets at least once every six months. Large and medium (88 and 56 respectively) and DB / Hybrid (54) are more likely to meet at least quarterly than small (17) and DC (23), as shown in table 4.1 below. Table 4.1: Frequency of formal meetings of the full trustee board All Small Medium Large DB/ hybrid (291) DC (158) DB/ hybrid (87) DC (57) DB/ hybrid (100) DC (60) DB/ hybrid (104) DC (41) 1 At least monthly At least quarterly At least every six months At least annually Less often / never Don t know = small base Those which are believed to be governed very effectively by their board of trustees are more likely to hold formal meetings of the trustee board at least quarterly, as shown in figure 4.1 overleaf. 17 P a g e

18 Figure 4.1: Frequency of full trustee board meetings (By self-assessed effectiveness of trustee board governance) At least quarterly 29 At least six monthly All (449) Very effectively (289) 31 9 Fairly effectively (145) At least annually Less frequently / Never Don't know As shown in figure 4.2 below, which are not being used for automatic enrolment are more likely to meet at least every six months, compared to being used for automatic enrolment, which are more likely to meet on at least a quarterly basis. Figure 4.2: Frequency of full trustee board meetings (By whether scheme is being used for automatic enrolment) At least quarterly At least six monthly At least annually All (449) Being used for automatic enrolment (129) 14 7 Not being used for automatic enrolment (301) Less frequently / Never Don't know 18 P a g e

19 4.2 Conflicts of interest Pension trustees have a duty to act in the best interests of the pension scheme members and beneficiaries and are guided by the principles of trust law, supported by codes and guidance issued by the regulator 6. Schemes are legally required to have in place both a means of identifying potential conflicts of interest and policies to manage such conflicts if they arise. As can be seen in figure 4.3 below, the proportion of with policies to manage trustees own conflicts of interest has increased by ten percentage points to 81, compared to Although not significant year on year, the proportion of that have not taken any actions to identify and manage potential conflicts of interest has been decreasing over time, and in 2014 is significantly lower than in 2012 (13 compared to 18). Figure 4.3: Board of trustees conflicts of interest actions Have the means to identify and record potential conflicts of interest for each trustee (449) Have policies to manage trustees' own conflicts of interest (454) 2012 (586) Keep and maintain a register of trustees' interests (572) None of these Base: 2011/2012: all except frozen or fully insured; 2013/2014: all Small DC are more likely to have none of these measures in place (39). Those which are being used for automatic enrolment are more likely to keep and maintain a register of trustees interests (75) than those which will not be used (61). 6 specific requirements and standards for DC are set out in the DC code of practice: 19 P a g e

20 Where the trustee boards are self-assessed as very effective for their scheme governance, are significantly more likely to have all of these measures in place to identify and manage trustees conflicts of interest, compared to those assessed as fairly effective. Among those rating their board s standard of governance as very effective just six percent say that the board has none of these measures or policies in place, compared to 19 of those where the governance is rated as fairly effective and six out of ten where the board is rated as not effective. For further breakdowns, please refer to Q37 in the Technical Report. 4.3 Documenting internal controls The presence of good risk management and internal controls allows to identify and prioritise risks, which in turn benefits the scheme members. Three in four (72) say that they have documented their internal controls, broadly consistent with Large and medium and DB / hybrid are most likely to have done this (94, 82 and 79 respectively). 44 of small DC and 25 of small DB / hybrid say they have not documented their internal controls; across all small, one in ten are unsure. Schemes which are being used for automatic enrolment are more likely to have documented their internal controls (82 compared with 71 of which will not be used). Schemes where the trustee board is self-assessed as very effective in its governance are significantly more likely than those rated as fairly effective to have documented their internal controls (79, compared to 65 of those self-assessed as fairly effective and four in ten of those rated not effective ). Of those with documented internal controls, eight in ten (85, broadly in line with previous years) have a formal process to identify and record risks, such as a risk register. Among those who maintain such a process, the effectiveness of the internal control systems is reviewed at least once a year by nine in ten of the (92, consistent with 2013). As can be seen in figure 4.4, the proportion of that review this at least six monthly has increased by ten percentage points, returning to the level recorded in P a g e

21 Figure 4.4: Frequency of reviewing the effectiveness of the scheme s risk management and internal control systems (By year) At least six monthly At least annually At least once every 3 years Less frequently / Never Don't know 2011 (385) 2012 (410) 2013 (297) 2014 (300) Key differences between scheme types include the following: - Large are more likely to review the effectiveness of their scheme s risk management and internal control systems at least six monthly (47), compared to medium (36) and small (27). - Small are more likely to conduct this review annually (66), compared to large (48) and medium (54); and - Schemes which rate their trustee board s standard of governance as very effective are more likely to review these systems at least annually (95, compared to 87 of those rating their board as fairly effective ) Of those which possess a risk register, almost nine in ten (88, consistent with 2013), agree that the formal process for identifying and recording risks has contributed, to some extent, to the scheme establishing new or revised internal controls. Schemes which are being used for automatic enrolment are more likely to say that this has made a significant difference (29), compared to those not being used (14). 21 P a g e

22 5. Trustee boards learning and development The law requires trustees to have the relevant knowledge and understanding to perform their role within six months of their appointment. Professional trustees, or trustees appointed for their specialist expertise, are required to have the relevant knowledge and understanding immediately on appointment. Trustees need to have knowledge and understanding of pensions and trusts and the law relating to them, the principles of funding pension and the investment of assets on behalf of members. They also need to understand how their own scheme works, including the rules that govern the scheme. In addition to the questions asked in this survey in previous years on trustee knowledge and understanding some additional questions were added in the research conducted in January February 2014 and are therefore only asked of DB / Hybrid. These questions will be asked of DC during the regulator s 2014/15 research programme. 5.1 TKU, learning and training among trustees TKU The survey measures whether trustee boards have a formal documented policy relating to Trustee Knowledge and Understanding (TKU). Consistent with past surveys, four in ten (39) say they have a documented policy on TKU. This varies by scheme size, with 59 of large saying they have a documented policy, compared with 46 of medium and 22 of small. By scheme type, DB / Hybrid are more likely to have a formal TKU policy (43 compared to 25 of DC ). Schemes which are being used for automatic enrolment are more likely to have a formal, documented TKU policy (49) than those which will not be used (37). Schemes are also asked what proportion of the board s lay trustees has a level of knowledge and understanding that meets the standards set out in the TKU code of practice: 45 say that all of the board s lay trustees possess this level of knowledge and understanding A further one in four (26) say that more than half have this level of knowledge and understanding Three percent say that none of their lay trustees meet the standards set out in the TKU code of practice, with a further four percent stating that they are not familiar with the code. Ten percent were unable to answer the question 22 P a g e

23 Among those with a documented policy on TKU, nine in ten (89) say that at least half or all of the board s lay trustees have a level of knowledge and understanding that meets the standards set out in the code, compared to 58 of that do not have a documented policy Where lay trustees do possess the required levels of awareness and understanding, are asked how they ensure that lay trustees are meeting the standards set out in the code. Spontaneous mentions of actions taken by at least one in five are: - ensure trustees receive relevant training and education 54 from the scheme s providers and advisers - ensure trustees refresh their knowledge frequently 51 - ensure trustees have a working knowledge of all 33 scheme documents - ensure newly-appointed trustees complete the required 29 learning within six months of appointment - ensure all relevant trustee toolkit modules are completed 28 - ensure trustees are able to demonstrate knowledge 20 and understanding Training plans As shown in figure 5.1, half of the say there is a training plan in place for trustees, maintaining the increased level achieved in Figure 5.1: Schemes with a training plan in place for trustees (By year) Yes 2011 (586) 2012 (618) 2013 (454) 2014 (449) As illustrated in figure 5.2 overleaf, there is a strong relationship between scheme size and the existence of a training plan. Broadly consistent with 2013, whilst three 23 P a g e

24 in four (76) large have a plan in place, this falls to three in ten (29) of small. Figure 5.2: Schemes with a training plan in place for trustees (By scheme size) Yes All (449) Small (144) Medium (160) Large (145) Compared to DC, and in line with 2013, DB / hybrid are more likely to have a training plan in place, as can be seen in figure 5.3 below. This figure also shows that which are being used for automatic enrolment are more likely to have a training plan in place for trustees than those which will not be used. Figure 5.3: Schemes with a training plan in place for trustees (By scheme type) Yes All (449) DB / hybrid (291) DC (158) Being used for automatic enrolment (129) Not being used for AE (301) Overall, three in ten (29) say that they have both a documented policy on TKU and a training plan in place for trustees, as shown in table 5.1. Four in ten say they have neither or are unsure. 24 P a g e

25 Table 5.1: TKU policy and formal training plans in place Have training plan in place for trustees All Have documented policy on TKU Yes No / Don t know Yes No / don t know Figures may not add up 100 because of rounding As shown in figure 5.4 below, large (51) and medium (33) are more likely than small to have both a documented policy on TKU and a training plan in place for trustees. Small (64) are more likely to have neither. Figure 5.4: TKU policy and formal training plans in place (By scheme size) Have documented TKU policy and training plan Have documented TKU policy Have training plan Have neither / DK All (449) Small (144) Medium (160) Large (145) Schemes which are being used for automatic enrolment are more likely to have both a documented policy and a training plan (44) compared to those which are not being used (27). All of the respondents are asked, without prompting, about the sources of training for trustees. The main responses focus on the regulator (and its resources), external advisers or consultants and courses or conferences. The main source of training for trustees is the trustee toolkit, mentioned spontaneously by one in three respondents (33). This is followed by: - courses or conferences (28 mention spontaneously) - the regulator (unspecified) (20) 25 P a g e

26 - external consultants (general) (18) - legal advisers (18) - actuarial advisers or consultants (17) - investment advisers or consultants (13) A new question, included in Jan-Feb 2014 (and therefore asked of DB / hybrid only), asked about the sources of training for lay trustees in the last twelve months, with an answer list provided. The trustee toolkit is mentioned by the majority of DB / hybrid (70), with other common sources of training for lay trustees in the last twelve months including: - legal advisers (52) - actuaries / actuarial advisers (29) - accountants (25) - auditors (24) - investment advisers / consultants (23) Seven in ten (70) of the DB/ hybrid surveyed say that all of their lay trustees have carried out some training in the last twelve months, with a further one in ten (10) saying that over half the lay trustees have done so. Large and medium (85 and 72 respectively) are more likely than small (54) to say that all of their lay trustees have undergone training in the last twelve months. The trustee toolkit is discussed in more detail in section 5.2 below. 5.2 Trustee toolkit The trustee toolkit is named spontaneously as a source of trustee training by one in three respondents (33). DB / hybrid (37), large (40) and medium (39) are more likely to mention the trustee toolkit than DC (19) and small (23). Those respondents who do not spontaneously mention the trustee toolkit are asked whether they are aware of the toolkit, and 93 of this group are aware, on a prompted basis. Taking the total base, 96 are aware of the trustee toolkit on an unprompted or prompted basis, similar to 2013 (97). Small DB / hybrid have a higher level of awareness of the toolkit than equivalent-sized DC. Those who have any awareness (spontaneous or prompted) of the toolkit are asked whether they or their board members have used it. Overall eight in ten (79, consistent with 2013) say they have used the toolkit. 26 P a g e

27 Table 5.2 below shows the levels of awareness and usage by scheme type within size band. Table 5.2: Awareness and usage of the trustee toolkit Awareness (unprompted) Awareness (total) All Small Medium Large DB/ hybrid (291) DC (158) DB/ hybrid (87) DC (57) DB/ hybrid (100) DC (60) DB/ hybrid (104) DC (41) Usage (total) Those who have used the trustee toolkit are asked how many trustee board members have completed it. Of those who are able to give a definitive answer to this, one in four (23, down from 32 in 2013) did not have any board members completing it. Small are more likely to say this (44 compared to 15 of medium and 7 of large ). 77 say that at least one trustee or board member has completed the toolkit. As found in last year s survey, there is a correlation with scheme size. Large are more likely to say that two or more board members have completed the toolkit (87, compared to 64 of medium and 32 of small ), and the average number of board members completing the scheme increases from 1 for small, to 3 for medium and 5 for large. These results need to be placed in the context of the relative size of scheme boards in small, medium and large. For more detailed information, please see the accompanying Technical Report. In 2014, where at least one trustee has completed the trustee toolkit 7, the are asked how useful this resource is. Seven in ten (72) have found the trustee toolkit to be either extremely or very useful, an increase of ten percentage points compared with 62 in In previous years surveys, the question was asked of where the toolkit had been used (as opposed to completed) by trustees. 27 P a g e

28 Figure 5.5: Usefulness of the trustee toolkit (By year) Extremely useful Very useful Fairly useful Neither/nor (261) 2012 (476) 2013 (271) (205) Not useful Don't know By scheme type and size, the findings are broadly consistent, with around nine in ten of all scheme types and sizes agreeing that the toolkit is, to some extent, useful, as shown in table 5.3. Table 5.3: Usefulness of the trustee toolkit (By scheme type and size) All Small Medium Large DB/ hybrid (144) DC (61) DB/ hybrid (26)* DC (9) * DB/ hybrid (53) DC (26) * DB/ hybrid (65) DC (26) * Extremely useful Very useful Fairly useful Useful (net) Neither/nor Not useful (net) Don t know Base: All those asked how useful they or the board of trustees had found the Trustee Toolkit *small base 28 P a g e

29 5.3 Publications by the regulator Code of practice for Defined Benefit scheme funding In the January-February 2014 wave of the survey, DB / hybrid are asked about the extent to which boards of trustees have made use of the code of practice for Defined Benefit scheme funding 8. Overall: - Eight in ten (80) are aware of the code of practice; - Six in ten (62) say they have read this; and - Just over four in ten (44) say they have reviewed their scheme against the code of practice. Two in three (64) say that their professional advisers have provided an overview of how the code impacts their scheme. Compared to which do not have a documented policy on TKU, which have such a policy are more likely to have read the DB code of practice and reviewed their scheme against the code, as can be seen in figure 5.6 below. Figure 5.6: Usage of the code of practice for Defined Benefit (By whether have documented policy on TKU) Aware of the code of practice 84 Have formally 68 Have read the documented 54 code of practice TKU policy (75) 67 0 Have reviewed scheme against the code Have no formally documented policy (65) Advisers have provided an overview None of these 8 Usage of the guidance on Defined Contribution will be covered in the 2015 programme of research 29 P a g e

30 5.3.2 Guide for New Trustees Another new question added in the January-February wave concerned awareness and perceived usefulness of the Guide for New Trustees, which was launched a few months earlier. 9 Four in ten DB / hybrid (40) say that the board of trustees have seen the guide. Large (61) are more likely than medium (32) or small (33) to have awareness of it. Among those who that have seen the guide, eight in ten (83) said that they found the Guide, to some extent, useful. Please see the Technical Report for more information about TKU and trustee learning and training (Q5 to Q18) P a g e

31 6. Management of the scheme administration Trustees are accountable for administration in trust-based. They should have an ongoing dialogue with their scheme administrator and employer to ensure scheme records are up to date and that any problems are rectified as soon as possible. In addition to the questions that have been asked in previous years on scheme administration, additional questions asked of those using an external administrator were included in the wave of the research conducted in August to September Although results from some of these additional questions can be found here, please refer to Q19 to Q30 in the accompanying Technical Report for the full results. 6.1 Providers of administration services When asked to identify the main provider of administration services for the scheme, 67 say that this role is performed by a firm of third party administrators (TPAs), 17 by an in-house administration team and 16 by the scheme insurer. This is consistent with the findings from the 2013 survey. There are some differences by scheme size, as shown in figure 6.1 below. Figure 6.1: Main provider of scheme administration services (By scheme size) Third Party Administrator In-house administration team Scheme insurer Other No main provider All (449) Small (144) Medium (160) Large (145) Base: all Figure 6.1 shows that large and medium are more likely than small to have an external, third party administrator, with small more likely to use the services of the scheme insurer. Medium are less likely than either large or small to have an in-house administration team. Similar to previous years findings, DB / hybrid are more likely than DC to use a third party administrator, with DC more likely to use the scheme insurer for administration services. 31 P a g e

32 Schemes which are being used for automatic enrolment are more likely to be administered by an in-house team, as can be seen in figure 6.2 below. Figure 6.2: Main provider of scheme administration services (By whether using for automatic enrolment) Third Party Administrator In-house administration team Scheme insurer All (449) 8 3 Being used for automatic enrolment (129) 18 Not being used for automatic enrolment (301) Other Base: all 6.2 Administration costs Where a scheme is administered by a third party administrator or by the scheme insurer, the respondent is asked about the pricing structure and levels for the services provided. Over half of (55) say that their administration contract is formed of a fixed fee, with additional fees for out-of-scope work. One in five small (20) and one in four DC (25) do not know the basis of their scheme administration costs. Questions were then asked about the annual costs of scheme administration. For further information about this, please refer to Q21 and Q24 in the Technical Report. 32 P a g e

33 6.3 Administration services Administration services provided as standard Respondents who were able to give a cost for their annual administration were asked what services were included within their contract as standard. Maintenance of member records (90), transfer in and out calculations and quotations and processing of transfers in and out (87 of DB / hybrid ) 10 and the production and distribution of retirement literature to members (85) were the most mentioned. Other services mentioned by more than seven in ten entail: - Transfer out quotations and processing of transfers in and out (83 of DC ) 11 - Production and distribution of annual benefits statements (81) - Undertaking annual renewal (77 of DB / hybrid ) 12 - Liaison with investment managers, consultants or annuity brokers (71) - Maintenance of scheme bank account and cash-flow monitoring (71 of DB / hybrid ) Additional administration services purchased The most commonly mentioned services purchased in addition to the standard services include: - Annual (or more frequent) data review exercise and cleansing (46) - Assistance with statutory reporting / scheme valuations (19) - Maintenance of member records (10) Sixty percent of the surveyed state that no additional administration services have been purchased in the last twelve months. 6.4 Existence of documented service standards and formal reporting Where a scheme is administered by a third party administrator, by the scheme insurer or by an in-house administration team, the respondent is asked whether documented service standards exist in relation to the scheme s administration. Overall three in four (77, broadly consistent with the last two surveys) say that these standards do exist, with 15 saying that they do not exist, and 8 unsure. 10 Statement only asked of DB / hybrid 11 Statement only asked of DC 12 Statement only asked of DB / hybrid 13 Statement only asked of DB / hybrid 33 P a g e

34 Large and medium and DB / hybrid are more likely to say that these standards exist and are documented (94, 86 and 84 respectively) compared to 60 of small and 56 of DC, with small and DC more likely to say either that standards do not exist (24 and 23 respectively) or that they are unsure (16 and 22 respectively). When asked how often the trustees receive formal reports on the standard of administration that they are receiving, eight in ten (80, broadly consistent with 2013) say that this happens at least annually, with 11 saying that it never happens, and 3 unsure of the frequency. Figure 6.3 below shows the relationship with scheme size, with large relatively more likely to receive reports on a quarterly basis, medium on a semi-annual basis, and small once a year or not at all. Figure 6.3: Frequency of receiving formal reports on the standard of administration received (By scheme size) Monthly Quarterly 6-monthly Annually Less often All (447) Small (142) Medium (160) 8 Large (145) Never Don't know Base: all administered by TPA, in-house, insurer or other By scheme type, DB / hybrid scheme trustees are more likely than DC scheme trustees to receive reports on an annual basis (86 compared to 63). Schemes which are being used for automatic enrolment are more likely to receive reports on at least a quarterly basis (56) compared to those which will not be used (40). Those receiving administration reports are asked how often a representative from the administrator attends trustee meetings to answer questions arising from the reports. Half (46) say that a representative attends every meeting, with one in seven (14) saying that someone attends a meeting every six months, and 18 once a year. Thirteen percent say that a representative from the 34 P a g e

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