Most respondents believe more schemes will have to go into the lifeboat fund
This week a majority of Pensions Buzz's 107 respondents believe more schemes will have go to into the PPF as more retailers become insolvent.
Similarly a majority thought there should not be a mandatory definition of value for money.
An overwhelming number of respondents (68%) said more schemes were likely to enter the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) over the coming years due to high street retailers going bust.
It comes as British Home Stores (BHS) and Austin Reed have fallen into administration, with their schemes potentially going into the PPF.
One yes respondent said: "Surely the BHS debacle dictates that a wider review of PPF cases is required to see how many more could have been prevented from either going bust or the deficits reduced before entry to PPF."
Another said: "Deficits look likely to remain in evidence with negative progress becoming the norm until market buys out or the PPF can provide a way out for dealing with these liabilities."
Just 12% disagreed, while 20% sat on the fence.
One respondent who disagreed said: "There are several examples of high street brands adapting to survive in the electronic retail world. I don't think BHS and Austin Reed represent an increase in the closure trend."
Almost half of respondents (47%) believed the Pensions Regulator (TPR) is sufficiently holding DB trustees to account.
One respondent said: "If we want to increase funding requirements, set out what they should be and cut out the interpretation by trustees."
However, another said: "There is a limit to what the regulator can do, given the powers it has - as trustees we cannot force the sponsor to invest more, given capital is required to grow the business- it should be a partnership, while the trustees are looking out for the best interests of the fund and the membership." This was a view shared by others.
Some 40% said the watchdog was not doing enough to hold trustees to account.
One respondent said: "I still fail to see the value that lay trustees add other than protecting their own position. This will however reduce the pool of those willing and available to sit on trustee boards."
The majority (55%) of respondents did not support a mandatory definition of value for money, compared to almost 30% who said it would be useful.
A respondent said: "The term means different things to different people and a mandatory definition would cause confusion and be as useful as FR17."
Another said: "Provided the regulator's how to guides are sufficient, value for money can be left as a principle. If it is defined in legislation it runs the risk of becoming too rigid. The DC market is evolving and what constitutes 'value for money' will evolve with it."
However, another added: "The Financial Conduct Authority or TPR should help the industry to develop principles and trustees or independent governance committees should report against these.
This move was supported by some ‘yes' respondents. One said: "I'd like to see someone like the Pensions Policy Institute take this matter in hand."
Another yes respondent said: "Value should be an objective measure and not a subjectivity exercise. Full cost transparency should also be mandatory to enable objective measurement."
Some 16% said they did not know.
Respondents were largely evenly split over whether the regulator's IRM guidance helps trustees to manage deficits and risks.
Of the 37% that believes the guidance helps trustees, one respondent pointed out it is only a guide to make sure the individual scheme is going down the right road and "must not be used as a strait jacket."
Another said: "It helps but the company still leads in defining sustainable growth."
Almost a third said it does not aid trustees, with a respondent saying: "It's clearly aimed at the largest schemes so is of no relevance to most."
Another said: "Well run schemes are already practicing this concept, without having put a name to it. The main effect of this guidance is to add to trustees' workload by compelling them to produce yet more unnecessary process documentation and navel gazing."
Less than a third (30%) sat on the fence.
A strong majority of respondents (63%) said maintaining additional voluntary contributions (AVCs) is viable despite the introduction of alternatives like the lifetime ISA (LISA).
One respondent said: ""AVCs can be used to enable members to take cash at retirement rather than commute DB pensions."
Another said: "If a member wants to save an extra 1%, 2%, 5% more, why force them to find an alternative provider? Most will simply decide it's too much bother. The financially savvy are more likely to consider other options."
Out of the 32% who disagreed, a respondent said: "Scheme based savings are being sacrificed to maintain balance budgets but ISAs will provide short-term relief.
However the longer term will see the undoing of retirement plans as there isn't sufficient spare money filtering through the economy to make this viable for individual savers."
The respondent added: "The government is failing to notice that it has a responsibility to its community to direct resources to protect its members."
Defined benefit (DB) schemes that provide GMPs must revisit and, where necessary, top-up historic cash equivalent transfer values (CETVs) that have been calculated on an unequal basis, a landmark court judgment said last week.
Regulators must act now to impose some "proper regulation" to stop another defined benefit (DB) transfer advice disaster, saysTim Sargisson.
Opportunities for defined benefit (DB) schemes to pursue investment approaches that help repair the UK’s economy cannot stand in the way of improving member outcomes, Aegon says.
More members transferred out of defined benefit (DB) pension schemes in October after September's record lows while values were surprisingly stable, according to XPS Pensions Group's Transfer Watch.
Joanna Smith says trustees will need to accurately identify if covenant issues are short-term affordability concerns, or the start of more material deterioration.