New DC code support and guidance video transcript
Interviewer: Louise, TPR has published its DC scheme survey and its 21st century trustee discussion paper, together with the final instalment of its trustee landscape research. In addition the new DC code and supporting guides are now in force, so as well as supporting trustees in numerous ways, is TPR also encouraging debate about the future of trusteeship and perhaps the market?
Louise Sivyer: Well, millions of people are now being auto enrolled into DC schemes so it’s more important than ever that these schemes are being run to a really high standard.
We’ve been doing a lot of research in this area which is helping to inform the information and tools that we provide to trustees to help them with this.
Our 21st century trustee discussion paper that we’ve recently published sets out how we’re going to support trustees and help them to improve the standards in their schemes, and it also considers what else TPR and wider industry can do to help with this.
Part of this for us will include greater targeting and segmentation of the trustees and schemes that we communicate with to try and really draw in the disengaged trustees and underperforming schemes.
Our new DC code that we’ve also recently published very clearly sets out the expectations that we have of trustees when they’re complying with their duties in law, including the most recent changes in law. And we’ve also supported this with a suite of practical guides that can help trustees in doing this.
When we’ve revised the code we’ve really listened to stakeholders and we've made it much shorter and simpler with much clearer links to the underlying legislation, and we’ve also improved how it’s used so it can be used on a wide range of devices – tablets, mobile phones – and people can click straight through from the code to the underlying guidance and also to the underlying legislation.
We will use our enforcement powers where we see breaches in pensions legislation. We’re particularly concerned about breaches of real basic hygiene requirements such as completing the scheme return or preparing a chair’s statement. And our new compliance and enforcement policy sets out how we’ll deal with this.
But ultimately we need to start asking the question about what if, despite all of our best efforts, trustees can’t meet our expectations. It might be that if certain segments of the trustee landscape either can’t or won’t meet those expectations then we might need to start looking at alternative solutions.
For example, the potential benefits of encouraging sub-standard schemes to consolidate, whether they are schemes of any size or benefit type, is something we’d like to explore with our stakeholders.