DC schemes

Defined Contribution (DC) schemes are set to be the UK’s principal form of retirement savings for the future.

This presents its own set of unique challenges for trustees, employers and members alike. As the leading firm in pensions, our specialism and scale mean that we can rise to the most important challenges in the industry, delivering extensive, practical experience of how trustees and employers are addressing the core legal and regulatory issues, whilst achieving optimal member outcomes.

Our DC experts ensure that all of our clients benefit from the latest thinking. We stay ahead of the game, identify the up and coming challenges and predict likely outcomes. We give our clients the reassurance of knowing when to act. And when not to. Those clients include some of the UK’s largest DC schemes, with assets in excess of £1bn, and our involvement ranges from one-off projects to advising on all aspects of day-to-day scheme management. Everything we do is created in partnership with these clients and, through active listening and a confident grasp of the information that really matters, we give direction and purpose to their strategies.

Whatever the challenge, our clients all have something in common: when it comes to DC, they need to understand the market. As a significant voice for the pensions industry, our breadth and depth of experience gives us genuine insight into exactly what success should look and feel like.

How we can help

We have identified four key priorities for employers and trustees of DC schemes, and have developed our services around them.


  • Minimum quality standards
  • Chair’s annual statement
  • Assessing value for money
  • DC code of practice
  • Transparency and charges
  • Trustee training
  • Governance committees


  • Contract vs trust based schemes
  • Master trusts
  • Pension taxation
  • Pension flexibilities
  • Scheme transfers
  • Auto-enrolment


  • Guidance vs advice
  • Understanding disclosure requirements
  • Engaging with members
  • Reviewing materials


  • Review of and reporting on fund options
  • Selection of default fund strategy
  • Negotiating platform agreements
  • Advising on decumulation tools

Of course, no two organisations are the same, and we pride ourselves on delivering solutions tailored entirely to your needs. Our specialist team is on hand to help.

Recent experience

• Establishing new DC occupational pension schemes, preparing their rules, member communications and third party contracts

• Advising on the establishment of new master trust arrangements and the legislation applicable to work based pension arrangements, drafting the trust deed and rules and providing ongoing advice to the Trustee, including on bulk transfers in and meeting ongoing governance requirements

• Advising on investment fund reviews, mapping across to new funds, and related member communications

• Advising on security of asset issues associated with DC platform providers and AVC policies

• Working with independent trustees on their appointment to IGCs and also providers on the regulatory requirements for IGCs and how these can be met

• Advising the Pensions Regulator on winding up DC schemes, in relation to the legal and practical considerations and difficulties involved for trustees

• Advising on the content of chair’s annual governance statements, and the assessment of value for money

• Considering the impact of pension flexibilities and pension tax changes on administration, annuity broker contracts and related member communications.