The PLSA's Defined Benefit (DB) Taskforce has opened its call for evidence on challenges facing DB.
The document sets out a series of questions on which the taskforce is seeking views and empirical evidence.
The taskforce was established in March 2016 with a view to identifying possible solutions to the challenges facing DB schemes.
The taskforce suggests three areas in which it believes solutions may lie:
- Efficiency - across all functions from day-to-day administration to the appointment of fund managers and how investment strategies are implemented.
- Capital allocation - scheme sponsors are diverting investment capital into DB schemes to address rising deficits.
- Member benefits - funding challenges which are pushing employers into unfair trade-offs between different employee groups and the impact of binary legislative outcomes which result in DB member benefits being paid in full or falling into the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).
DB Taskforce chairman Ashok Gupta said: "The recent news about the British Steel Pension Scheme shows how important a role DB schemes play in our wider economic and social structures. This recent case also illustrates just how strong the tide is against DB schemes and their sponsoring employers.
"Schemes, trustees and employers have worked extraordinarily hard to stay ahead but it's increasingly clear that even for closed schemes to survive a radical re-appraisal of how they operate is needed. That is an extremely complex task as DB schemes are different things to different people. So we want to hear views from everyone who has an interest in DB schemes - from scheme members through to trustees, sponsors, regulators and government."
PLSA chief executive Joanne Segars urged "anyone with an interest in the future of DB provision to engage with this call for evidence."
A copy of the call for evidence is available to download from the PLSA website.
The call for evidence will close on 15 July 2016 and responses should be sent to [email protected].
The Taskforce will present interim findings at the PLSA's annual conference in October 2016.
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