UK - Sweeping reforms are set to give defined contribution schemes a greater presence at the National Association of Pension Funds.
Chairman Terry Faulkner told IPN’s sister publication, Professional Pensions, that the NAPF would expand its coverage to include all types of employer-sponsored provision – such as group personal pensions and stakeholder – and not just its traditional final salary and DC mainstays.
“We have to move with the times,” Faulkner explained.
He also wants to see more DC scheme managers on the NAPF’s councils so the association’s overall membership is better represented.
Faulkner spoke out after the NAPF’s first DC forum, which heard that companies needed more information – especially on best practice – to run their DC schemes effectively.
Faulkner promised that the NAPF would provide members with that information and, if necessary, it would turn to an independent third party to do so.
He said: “The challenge for the NAPF is to deliver what the people are looking for.
“We understand what is required and we already do some of it. Companies want information, they want a clear understanding of what DC best practice is.”
He also moved to dispel criticism that the forum was little more than a talking shop.
“We are going to go away and see what we can do, or point people to where the information is. Our task now is to deliver. We are not a talking shop,” he said.
AEA Technologies pension fund manager Judith Jackson welcomed the news. She said schemes were still “working in the dark” when it came to DC.
Moore Stephens pension fund manager Lisa Motimer said the development was “helpful” while West Ferry Printers pension scheme manager Vivienne Hayward said it was “something to build on”.
But one scheme manager who attended the forum remained sceptical.
He said companies needed immediate help with running DC schemes and they could not afford to wait for the NAPF to catch up.
“It has good intentions, and I am sure it will be more helpful going forward, but its current stance is behind where I would have expected it to be.”
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