A lack of time and resources has been revealed as the biggest enemy to good defined contribution scheme governance, according to a Pensions Management Institute survey
In total, 175 of pension managers responded the PMI poll. Of these, three quarters (76%) said finding sufficient time and resource was the main barrier to effective scheme governance. Almost 80% agreed that regular reviews of schemes and providers were needed.
Nigel Aston of the PMI's external affairs committee, said: 'Robust and effective governance can help schemes to pragmatically solve the trade-offs between risk, reward and cost that need to be considered for all default solutions.'
As such, over three quarters of those surveyed want more transparency of prices within default schemes. A similar proportion cited a lack of commitment from the governance body as problematic and 66% felt that effective leadership was essential.
But the survey also found clear recognition that, when selecting a default fund, it was about the savings and investment 'journey' as well as the final retirement destination. Eighty one per cent said that a balance between short- and long-term risk and return was important in investment design. The respondents were also split on absolute versus relative as a way of benchmarking performance (47% to 55%, respectively).
The poll was carried out following the Department for Work and Pensions' call for evidence on quality standards and governance in workplace pensions.
PMI chief executive Vince Linnane said the institute could play a full role in this exercise.
'Defined contribution will be the bedrock of retirement provision in the UK, with millions of employees and employers coming to pensions for the first time,' he said.
'This will necessitate a renewed vigour in how the industry meets the challenge of effectively and fairly governing these plans.'
Commenting on the survey's findings, pensions minister Steve Webb said: 'When people choose to pay into a workplace pension few will have actively chosen the scheme they join. They trust the people managing their pension to be doing everything they can to ensure they receive a decent return when they retire.
'While we know standards in DC schemes have been improving, we want to make sure all pension providers have key quality standards in place to protect their members.'