Defined benefit (DB) trustees must engage with members, either via a consultation or communication exercise, before transferring them to a DB superfund, this week's 112 Pension Buzz respondents said.
They were also asked whether the government should adopt a single measure of inflation, if collective defined contribution (CDC) was a sensible use of government time and resource, and if master trusts should be allowed to operate CDC.
To read the results in full, click here.
A narrow majority (52%) of this week's 112 respondents said trustees should be required to consult with members before they were moved to a defined benefit (DB) superfund.
One said: "A DB superfund is a different animal to a traditional DB scheme and this needs to be explained to members before a final decision."
"I imagine one would be disappointed with the level of response, but engagement with the membership is to be encouraged," added another.
Several agreed with the notion, but noted ‘consult' could either mean that members should be kept informed or that they should have final approval.
Yet another 40% disagreed with the idea entirely, with many likening such a process to holding the Brexit referendum. One said: "It would be as daft as parliament trying to resolve a complex economic question by running a referendum."
Other safeguards should be employed, said another: "It needs to be in the members' best interests and clear communication, as per the British Steel review recommendations. Also, this needs to be agreed/discussed with TPR."
Respondents overwhelmingly agreed the government should adopt a single measure of inflation, with 70% agreeing with the conclusion of a House of Lords committee.
Yet, there was no agreement over whether this should be the consumer prices index (CPI), the retail prices index (RPI), or another measure entirely.
One respondent said: "A single approach to indexation is long overdue - the legacy ‘accident' of a name is a ludicrous state of affairs."
"RPI is now universally acknowledged to be flawed," argued another. "It should be phased out for all purposes as quickly as possible"
A further respondent said it was "nonsensical" that the government still used RPI, despite being "flawed".
Yet, 22% disagreed, with many arguing this would see pensions reduced for many members and that a "promise is a promise".
"[This] would be a way of reducing pensions for a whole swathe of savers and pensioners to the benefit of companies/shareholders," said one respondent.
Another argued that no single inflation measure could work universally across the different spending needs of the UK population.
Almost half of respondents (48%) felt the government was not making a good use of time and resources in its development of collective defined contribution (CDC).
With just one employer, Royal Mail, currently committed to offering CDC provision, several argued that it was just a "fad" with limited appeal.
One such respondent said: "There remains a horrendous savings gap that needs to be closed and this seems a bit of an intellectual exercise focused on a quite specific niche."
"It needs a lot more discussion and a clear debate," another argued. "Real thought needs to go into the way it is communicated and delivered if it goes ahead."
Over a quarter (28%) said the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) was right to be focusing on the idea, however.
One said: "It's already a bit late. Waiting longer risks losing out on potentially valuable remaining benefit here."
Respondents were almost equally split on whether the draft rules for CDC should be relaxed to allow master trusts to operate as CDC providers.
Some 34% disagreed that this should be allowed and 31% said they were unsure, but advocates edged it with 35% in agreement.
Of the latter, one said it would "make sense" if CDC is widely adopted, while another added: "If we are going to have CDC, it should be done on a large scale. There are no advantages to having small CDC schemes."
A further respondent added the proposed rules were a "significant shortcoming".
Of those who disagreed, however, one argued: "Let's not run before we can walk - relaxing conditions are a concern and we need to see the master trust landscape in the coming months."
Several argued CDC had to operate under a separate regime to general master trusts, with one noting it was a "very different challenge".
One wavering respondent commented: "But does it really matter if no-one is interested in CDC? Haven't we got better and more urgently pressing things to do?"
The vast majority (69%) of this week's respondents said they had not stepped up contingency planning for a no-deal Brexit for their pension scheme.
While many questioned what there was to plan for, some of the 16% who said they had advanced preparation noted covenant, investment and cross-border concerns.
Of the majority, one argued that for pension schemes, "as a long-term investor, Brexit will be seen as a blip in history".
Another commented much of the investment risk had already been priced in. They said: "Brexit has been considered, and dismissed as a material risk. It may well turn out to be beneficial. The uncertainty is unfortunate, but there are bigger risks to mitigate."
Yet, several of these said discussions had begun, albeit at a "very late stage".
Of those who had stepped up planning, one said they had prepared strategies for Brexit, with or without a deal.
Another added that, while they had no cross-border issues and a globally diversified portfolio, they were "discussing the currency issue should sterling change significantly".
This week's edition of Professional Pensions is out now.
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