Just under half of respondents to this week's Pensions Buzz argued the master trust market would operate more efficiently if there were fewer participants, without damaging competition.
This week's 92 respondents also answered questions on the level of Pension Protection Fund benefits, reporting of environmental, social and governance issues, and pension liability disclosure by sponsors.
Almost half of respondents (49%) said the UK should have a maximum of 10 defined contribution (DC) master trusts, considerably lower than the 90 in the market at the start of this year.
Yet, 20% said this should be between 11 and 15, 13% said between 16 and 20, and 18% advised for more than 20.
Of those who selected 10 or fewer, one said: "The fewer, the more efficient and effective they should be - but I wouldn't put my money on this happening."
"The nature of master trusts requires that they be large schemes with adequate resources and economies of scale," proffered another.
Among the remaining respondents, two who opted for between 11 and 15 said this would drive competition.
One who said more than 16 said any fewer would reduce benefits for the consumer: "The closer the industry moves to a cartel of a small number of providers, the less benefit there will be for the consumer."
"You can't plan this like Soviet tractor production!" said one who opted for more than 20.
Almost two-thirds (63%) of this week's Pensions Buzz respondents agreed with the European Court of Justice (ECJ) that Pension Protection Fund (PPF) entitlements should equal at least 50% of pre-insolvency benefits.
One argued that the percentage should be higher, with senior staff at the insolvent firm bearing the cost, while another added: "But why stick at an arbitrary 50%? Compensation for what is really deferred pay should be equal across the board."
Another respondent said: "The cap always seemed inequitable - perhaps this is how the PPF was able to build up such a healthy funding level."
Others pointed out that the government now needs to make this the law.
Yet, 29% disagreed with the judgment, with some arguing those with the most to gain are those arguably responsible for the scheme entering the PPF.
"We should not give more rewards to the ‘fat cat' leaders of failed companies," one said, while another added: "So managers who destroy businesses can still get full benefits?"
Others questioned whether the ruling would have effect post-Brexit.
The majority of commentators agreed that The Pensions Regulator (TPR) was right to be taking a tougher approach on small defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) schemes.
One of the 56% who felt this was right said it seemed fair, adding it should be a "risk-based approach where much of the most probable risk sits with smaller schemes/sponsoring employers."
Another argued small schemes are "less able to weather fiscal storms", while another said: "They've fallen off the radar for far too long and, generally, have a greater need for governance improvements."
"Tough is good, but so is pragmatic," offered another respondent.
Just over a quarter (26%) disagreed with the new approach, with some stating the big schemes need greater focus because of the risk they can pose to the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).
One accused of the regulator of "covering for its past failings", stating this is no "justification for taking it out on small schemes".
Many argued the approach had to be proportionate, while another said "size should be irrelevant."
Four in five respondents welcomed the Department for Work and Pensions' decision to drop a proposal that pension schemes publish an annual report on how they take members' views on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues into account.
One applauded the U-turn, noting: "Common sense has prevailed in the world of pensions for once".
Another added: "It was a nonsense ideas. Few members have any investment knowledge so this would lead to a minority of moral crusaders distorting investment decision-making with almost guaranteed worse outcomes for the many."
Others called the suggestion a "ludicrous additional administrative burden" and a "worthless boilerplate clause".
Yet, 11% regretted the decision, with one stating: "What you or I may think is valid decision based on our view of ESG almost certainly does not match what the members think. Give the members all the information they need and let them decide."
Respondents were almost equally split on whether defined benefit (DB) sponsors should publish the value of their pension liabilities on a basis alternative to the accounting standard, such as technical provisions or buyout.
Just three points were between the 42% who agreed and 39% who disagreed, while 19% were unsure about the suggestion.
"The current basis is well known to overestimate liabilities and underestimate asses to the detriment of the scheme and its members, and to the advantage of senior management and shareholders," one who agreed with the idea said.
"The price of a bulk annuity or for self-sufficiency reserves should be disclosed as an aid to shareholders," added another.
However, one of those who disagreed said "books will be cooked" if such a rule was enforced. Another said it was an "absurd suggestion", although voluntary disclosure could be a good idea.
Another added: "Company accounts already include lots of information on pensions, much of which is not understood by analysts, investors (and the company directors themselves in some cases)."
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