Three in five trustees have not heard of Clara Pensions, one of two defined benefit (DB) consolidators to have launched since last year's government white paper.
Another third (35%) had not heard of The Pension Superfund, according to a survey of 131 trustees conducted by Hymans Robertson in January this year.
The two commercial consolidation vehicles were launched in response to government plans to encourage aggregation of small DB schemes in a bid to boost the security of members' benefits with benefits arising from scale.
This also came after the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association's (PLSA) DB taskforce recommended the establishment of ‘superfunds'.
Yet, only a quarter of respondents to Hymans Robertson's survey felt making such a move would improve benefit security.
The two consolidators operate under different models, with Clara targeting improving scheme funding with an aim to move to buyout, while The Pension Superfund will continue to run absorbed schemes, boosting benefits where there is investment outperformance.
It is also possible that those who said they had heard of the latter may actually recognise the ‘superfund' term used in both the PLSA's research and government consultations.
Hymans Robertson head of corporate DB Alistair Russell-Smith said it was clear there was a "widespread lack of knowledge" about the two models.
"It is highly likely that trustees won't be giving them the right consideration at the moment," he said. "Commercial consolidators, such as The Pension Superfund and Clara Pensions, could benefit a significant minority of schemes so it is vital the industry builds and grows its understanding about them.
"Trustees should take the time to find out more… and consider the possibility of [consolidators] with their sponsoring employers."
He added that without a full understanding of the various options, trustees could "miss an opportunity to improve member security".
The two firms form just part of a wider, long-established consolidation market, which is also considered to comprise DB master trusts, fiduciary management, and sole trusteeship.
Clara chief executive Adam Saron said he was "pleased" so many schemes were aware of Clara within six months of its launch.
"The large number of current conversations we're having with schemes and sponsors show that trustees are beginning to understand the details of consolidation and how it can benefit members," he said.
"As Hymans Robertson notes in its research, it is vital that trustees do not miss the chance to improve member security through consolidation."
He cited the recent appointment of Jason Kenny as strategic relationships lead as a route to strengthening and broadening the consolidator's trustee outreach.
The Pension Superfund chief executive Luke Webster added: "Over the last year we have built strong relationships across key stakeholders and the response to our proposition amongst the leading pension consultants and trustees has been very encouraging.
"It's positive to see good awareness amongst two thirds of trustees but superfunds are in their infancy and therefore there is, of course, more to do to raise awareness of the benefits of superfunds."
The government closed a consultation on establishing a framework for the authorisation and supervision of consolidators in February, but a response is yet to be issued.
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