A majority of chief financial officers (CFOs) believe they need to spend more time working on their defined benefit (DB) schemes, latest research by Hymans Robertson reveals.
In a survey of 51 CFOs, conducted by YouGov, 59% said they need to have a greater involvement in the running of their DB schemes. 67% believe trustees are currently doing a good job at running the scheme.
The results come as the most recent Pension Protection Fund (PPF) 7800 Index figures showed scheme liabilities had markedly increased after gilt yields hit a record low following the vote to leave the European Union.
Hymans Robertson head of corporate consulting Jon Hatchett said the recent British Home Stores (BHS) and Tata Steel cases were causing CFOs to reconsider their involvement in scheme management.
"Post Brexit and recent high profile company failures linked to unmanageable pension deficits, it's inevitable that CFOs will be getting closer to the management of DB schemes. Increased regulation and scrutiny could well be on the way.
"And Brexit has increased the pension costs, thanks to falling gilt yields pushing liabilities into record territories. Added to that, it's created an uncertain business environment for pension scheme sponsors."
The survey also revealed 31% of CFOs do not believe their objectives align with their scheme trustee's objectives.
Hatchett added: "The need for trustees and sponsoring companies to work together has never been greater. Trustees have a legal duty to put members' interests first and CFOs have an obligation to prioritise the interests of shareholders. It's no wonder that sometimes, trustees and CFOs can feel as though they are on different sides. But this shouldn't be the case.
"CFOs and trustees can pool their different perspectives and expertise. More often than not CFOs feel trustees are doing a good job of managing pension schemes. Trustees should also recognise that as experienced problem-solvers and financial risk managers CFOs have a lot to offer."
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