The new tools issued by the Pensions Regulator (TPR), following the launch of its DC governance framework last year, will be of interest to all trustees of occupational DC schemes. TPR expects DC schemes to publish a “governance statement” at the end of each scheme year to confirm the extent of their compliance with the requirements of TPR’s Code of practice 13 and Regulatory guidance for DC schemes (both published in November 2013).
To assist with this process, TPR has produced a standardised governance statement and a scheme assessment template covering the quality features required. The assessment template may be adapted according to individual scheme needs and used to review systems and controls, monitor risks and prioritise actions for improvement, providing trustees with the information needed to complete their governance statements.
According to TPR, only the governance statement needs to be published in scheme reports and accounts or on a scheme website, but it expects the assessment information to be made available upon request to employers, members and TPR, to provide more detail about how the scheme is meeting the quality features.
Trustees of master trusts will also need to consider the forthcoming independent assurance framework for master trusts, expected to be finalised in spring 2014 after a consultation by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales in collaboration with TPR. This will feed into their governance statements, to confirm that the presence of “assured features” has been independently verified.
Links to the governance statement and DC scheme assessment templates may be accessed here via TPR’s website.