Independent Governance Committees (IGCs) have joined forces to better understand what value for money means for scheme members.
Co-ordinated by Sackers, the project involves 11 IGCs, with the support of their providers, undertaking research with members to build an understanding of what they value and why.
The programme is designed to inform IGCs when assessing whether members are receiving value for money, ahead of their second annual governance reports due next year.
The research initiative involves a number of high-profile contract-based providers and their IGCs, including Aegon, Aviva and Legal & General. The research will be conducted by NMG Consulting.
Consumers will be canvassed for their views in two phases, with qualitative data collected from two full-day workshops, followed by an online survey at a later date. The programme is expected to run to the end of the year.
Sackers associate director Jacqui Reid, who is co-ordinating the research, said it would improve member outcomes.
"All IGCs (and their providers) are clear that value for money is about maximising good member outcomes. However, pinning the components of it and how you measure them has proved harder. Many of us agree that, although fair charges are important, there is much more to achieving good member outcomes than price.
"IGCs are here to act in the interests of their members. It is therefore vital to enable them to carry out their role effectively that they understand what members themselves, and not just the pensions industry, value. This is an exciting project which has great potential to inform our thinking and improve member outcomes across the contract-based pensions landscape and beyond."
Reid estimates around 5,000 members will participate in the online survey, and each IGC will receive a report on NMG's findings by the end of the year.
Other providers participating in the project are Fidelity International, Old Mutual Wealth, Prudential, Royal London, Scottish Widows, Standard Life, Virgin Money and Zurich.
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