Defined contribution (DC)

DC schemes are now the principal form of retirement savings for new employees with over 15 million people enrolled in a workplace pension.

DC schemes are undergoing a significant period of change. The government is seeking to drive up governance standards and improve member outcomes at a time when retirement choices are becoming more complicated. We’re the leading law firm for DC, delivering practical legal advice to trustees and employers which draws on our experience and expertise.

For an ‘at a glance’ look at what measures we expect to see for DC schemes over the next year and beyond, download our DC key events tracker.

We advise some of the UK’s largest DC schemes on the full range of DC matters, from one-off innovative projects to day-to-day scheme management.

Our services are structured around four key areas, which we have identified as priorities for DC trustees and employers:

  • Governance, including preparation of the chair’s annual statement, assessing value for members and compliance with the DC Code of practice
  • Benefits, including the new retirement flexibilities, master trusts, and auto-enrolment
  • Investment, including the selection of default fund strategy, negotiating platform agreements, movement of DC funds and advising on asset security
  • Communications, including disclosure requirements, the distinction between guidance and advice, and engaging with members.

We also help clients to wind up their old DC arrangements and work with IGCs.

Recent experience

  • Establishing new DC occupational pension schemes, preparing their rules, member communications and third party contracts
  • Advising on the establishment of master trust arrangements and the legislation applicable to workplace pension arrangements 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
  • Considering the impact of retirement flexibilities and pension tax changes on administration, annuity broker contracts and related member communications.