UK - Law firm Dickinson Dees is to offer small schemes a one-stop solution in partnership with consultants and third-party administrators.
The tailored solution – comprising legal, actuarial and administration service – is to be targeted at smaller schemes looking to save costs.
Dickinson Dees, which claims the initiative is the first of its kind in the market, is conducting talks with interested actuarial and administration partners. It hopes to launch the service this summer.
The law firm said while large schemes had the money and resources to deal with pension issues as they arose, small schemes did not have this luxury.
Solicitor Tushar Bhate said: “Large schemes have got plenty of staff and people to keep on top of things.
“Unfortunately, all the Pensions Act requirements cut across the board – there are very few exceptions for small schemes, and they have got to comply the same way as the large schemes.”
He explained small schemes faced many of the same issues as their larger counterparts – only with smaller numbers.
“What they actually lack are the resources to tackle them.”But smaller schemes fear the law firm may not realise the full extent of its commitment.
The £15m St Modwen Properties Pension Scheme said the idea of a one-stop bundled service was a good idea “in theory”.
But scheme manager Susan Pready warned that many small schemes have a complicated history of mergers and acquisition.
This, she explained, meant there was more work involved in dealing with these issues than was often first envisaged.
However, she added that if a scheme is “simple” the product could be a significant success.
*In February, the NAPF came under fire from its membership for failing to address the needs of smaller schemes.
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