DC flexibilities

On 6 April 2015, significant new flexibilities were introduced for DC pension savers.

There are now four main options for taking pension benefits:

  • lifetime annuity (or scheme pension if offered by the scheme)
  • flexi-access drawdown
  • taking a number of cash sums at different stages and
  • taking the entire pot as cash in one go.

These changes bring new challenges for trustees, providers and employers, such as how best to communicate the options to members, what benefit options should the scheme offer, and whether the scheme needs to revise its investment strategy (in particular, any default option), to take account of the changes in member decision making.

How we can we help

  • Drafting member communications
  • Advising on how to balance providing sufficient information with avoiding giving “advice”
  • Drafting deeds of amendment to introduce new benefit options into the scheme’s trust deed and rules / policy documentation
  • Advising on how to change investment options
  • Trustee training on the new flexibilities
  • Advising on transfer processes (members may need to transfer to take advantage of the new flexibilities).

Recent experience

  • Advising providers and trustees on the impact of the Budget 2014 flexibility options on their benefit structures and arrangements more generally
  • Advising on pension transfers between trust and contract arrangements to enable members to benefit from the flexibility options
  • Drafting a trustee booklet providing guidance on the benefits and structures of the scheme for a DC scheme with over £650million assets
  • Drafting bespoke member communication documents for hybrid and DC schemes
  • Advising on changes to a scheme DC default fund in the light of the new flexibilities and the charge cap
  • Preparing pension flexibility and partial transfer policies for trustees of a large hybrid scheme
  • Advising employers on their obligations in relation to the new flexibilities and default funds.