Accreditation will reduce the number of sole-trader professional trustees, this week's Pensions Buzz respondents say.
The 101 commentators also answered questions on whether the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) should have member-nominated representatives on its board, and whether The Pensions Regulator (TPR) should issue a rules-and-ratios-based set of guidance in relation to allowable dividend distributions.
Furthermore, respondents were asked what area of change they think TPR should focus on, and how severe savers' lack of trust in pensions is.
Three in five (61%) of the 101 respondents in this week's Pensions Buzz thought the introduction of accreditation will reduce the number of sole-trader professional trustees.
Some argued this reduction would be a good thing, while many argued the opposite.
"Most are diligent and very experienced trustees with a few appointments. We will lose significant talent with the burden of accreditation," said one.
Another commented: "The changes are designed to raise the bar and so hopefully some of the less qualified sole traders will disappear."
One argued it will be a "combination of good and bad news", adding: "Some sole traders are excellent, some aren't. Anything that drives away the good is a shame; anything that increases the quality of people acting as trustees is a success."
Of the 13% that did not think accreditation would reduce the number of sole traders, one commented: "If you're a sole trader, you got where you are because you're good. Accreditation shouldn't hold any fears."
"This will give them a chance to prove their worth," said another.
Some 26% were unsure.
The highest proportion of respondents (44%) did not think the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) should have member-nominated representatives on its board.
One said it needs to understand members' needs and views, but that does not necessarily extend to member-nominated representatives.
"The theory sounds good but the practicalities of making such an appointment are significant and go against the direction of travel The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is driving," said another.
A different person questioned why this would be necessary, while another said it is far too diverse to be of use.
A smaller proportion (39%) thought the PPF should have member-nominated representatives, with one commenting: "It is about a balanced view and member views are important and add a key balance to outcomes."
"This would be a big step forward. At the moment members have only unknown professional trustees to turn to from the moment their scheme enters assessment," said another.
One suggested it would create a greater pensions balance across the PPF's board.
Some 17% did not know.
Nearly half of respondents (47%) did not agree TPR should issue a rules-and-ratios-based set of guidance in relation to allowable dividend distributions.
Many said it would be too complex, while many agreed that one size does not fit all.
"Each pension scheme and sponsor is different and provided trustees are robust and know what they are doing that should be enough," said one.
"Restrictive, constructive and they'll only create more issues down the line", said another.
One pundit commented: "This is a business decision - trustees need to ensure pension funding is considered in open and honest communication with the sponsor."
Some 31% did think TPR should issue such guidance, with one commenting: "Employers will continually find an excuse to pay dividends if TPR is not given a set of powers that can easily be enforced through a strict set of rules."
A different person added: "TPR encourages trustees to consider both scheme funding and sponsor business needs - this guidance would put flesh on the bones of such advice."
Just under a quarter (23%) of respondents thought the area of change TPR should focus on is defined benefit (DB) consolidators, with one suggesting it is a "potential minefield".
Another said this should be sorted "as a prelude to consolidation: blessing an ‘industry-approved' method of conversion of historic and unequal guaranteed minimum pension liabilities."
Some 21% said auto-enrolment should be the main focus because schemes need to have a more realistic chance of providing a pension.
One said: "Quality of pension provision will improve visibility and longer term savings."
Another 21% opted for the dashboard, with one saying it should be rolled out across the industry to hopefully get the public more engaged with their pension pots.
Less than a fifth chose costs and charges, with one suggesting they are the biggest upfront drain on any fund.
Just 9% said defined contribution (DC) master trusts, while as little as 7% opted for environmental, social and governance issues.
More than half of respondents said savers' lack of trust in pensions is a problem, but not a severe one yet.
"I believe that the issue now is more about savers not engaging with pensions rather than not trusting them," said one.
"I sense that the degree of trust is better now than it was a few years ago," said another.
One pundit commented: "It's not just a lack of trust but a lack of knowledge on DC pensions. Generous DB pensions didn't need a lot of member attention. A DC benefit does, especially when contributions are much lower."
Exactly two fifths thought savers' lack of trust is a big problem, with one suggesting: "Those who make the rules seem to think that another layer of complexity, another disclosure requirement, and another change to the tax laws are all good things but each of them just makes pensions scarier, more remote and less accessible to ordinary people."
Just 5% said it is not a problem.
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