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As we emerge from a COVID world, setting long-term funding targets is a key 2021 focus for trustees. Galvanised by The Pensions Regulator (TPR)’s. new Defined Benefit (DB) funding code of practice, trustees and sponsors need to pay acute attention to the maturing status of their DB schemes. TPR expects trustees to determine a clear journey plan towards a lower risk position as they close in on their goal.
A recent survey carried out by Barnett Waddingham asked trustees to identify the risks they were most concerned about for their schemes. It also asked trustees to share their experience of the types of risk events that had crystallised for their schemes over the past three years.
When the Department of Work and Pensions announced plans to use the Simpler Annual Statement as an industry standard, some schemes insisted that their whizzy, innovative communication was better. But maybe a predictable vanilla flavour of communication is what members really need.
By the time this article goes to press it will be a new year filled with new resolutions, new promise, new diets, debts and new rules about who you can meet and where. It certainly has been a year like no other. Brexit and, most acutely, COVID-19 have dominated the headlines, the national political agenda and the UK pensions industry: the consequences of both events will set the scene for what will be the ‘new normal’ for the years ahead.
The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the new Insolvency Act and the Pension Regulator’s expectations make scheme management ever more challenging. High profile collapses have taught us the importance of robust contingency planning to help protect member outcomes. It is vital that practical steps are taken now to get trustees and schemes ready for every eventuality.