Following discussion with the pensions industry earlier this year, a total of 36 features are listed in a draft document and published today. They are aimed at pension product providers, trustees and employers and are intended to underpin the six principles for good DC scheme design and governance, which the regulator issued last year.
The six principles address the essential characteristics of DC schemes, their governance arrangements when they are being set up, the duties of the people running them and how they are administered. They also apply to ongoing governance and monitoring of schemes and communications to members.
While the features published today are not statutory, TPR chief executive Bill Galvin said they still had an important role to play, and would also form part of the regulator’s future approach.
He said: ‘With these principles and features, we want to support the industry in demonstrating to employers and members that schemes are well designed and governed. These will also form an important part of our regulatory approach – we will consult formally on that in 2013.
‘In the meantime, we hope that those responsible for designing and running schemes to be used for automatic enrolment will take these principles and features into consideration.’
However, the National Association of Pension Funds said TPR should have gone further in setting out what it expects from a good DC pension scheme.
Director of policy Darren Philp said: ‘We would like to have seen the regulator be bolder in setting out its vision for what a good DC looks like. In a DC world where the risk is with the member, putting the member at the heart of the process is what counts in securing good outcomes.
’We think that this can only be achieved by good member governance. We need to ensure the interests of the member are protected.’