Specialist IT management consulting firm Dunnett Shaw & Partners is aiming to raise the standard of UK pension scheme administration.
Research conducted by DSP has revealed that standards are low and failing administration is a common occurrence which threatens occupational pension provision.
DSP's discussion paper suggests various models for an initiative that will help build trustee, employer and member confidence in the administration service.
• An industry developed code of practice to create a series of working party reports addressing specific areas of best practice. • An authoritative opinion – reviews and ratings to provide some reassurance of quality for all schemes. • An industry ranking – published survey of outsourced schemes. The survey would have to be completed by virtually all schemes to attract sufficient data to provide a meaningful view. • A qualification - standard with supporting audit. This model is a development of the industry code of practice approach. For schemes, this is likely to provide the most authoritative and incisive information about the organisation applying for certification.
DSP said that industry bodies that could oversee and implement such an initiative include the National Association of Pension Funds, the Pensions Management Institute, the Occupational Pensions Defence Union, the Pensions Administration for Large Schemes and the Pensions Research Accounts Group
Director at Dunnett Shaw & Partners James Heffron said: “Certainly there are examples of excellent administration but our research shows that in many cases this is not the case. There is grass root enthusiasm in the pensions movement for taking on the challenge of raising standards generally.
Heffron added: “DSP is committed to giving voice to this debate. The discussion paper lends it a preliminary framework. We urge pensions professionals to take a look and then send us their views, experiences and suggestions. We will catalogue them and publish the findings.”
The paper follows a period of consultation with leading pension managers and administration service providers.
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