Increased focus on DC governance is leading many employers to consider winding up peripheral DC schemes

Winding up

Consideration of consolidation and wind-up is now an issue for both trustees and employers. Historically this was a cost-saving measure, but now we have a selection of authorised master trusts to which schemes can transfer, TPR sees it as a governance issue. The Government has already consulted on a potential new requirement for some or all smaller DC pension schemes to conduct a triennial assessment of whether their members may receive better value if they were transferred into a larger scheme.

We have a clear understanding of the wider issues facing schemes and employers, and the particular challenges that medium and small sized schemes face, such as a lack of in-house resource and limited budgets for advisers’ fees.

We are able to advise on all aspects of DC winding up, tailoring our recommendations to each scheme’s requirements and delivering workable solutions. Our advice covers discharging benefits, managing the transfer so that risks are minimised and members’ interests protected, as well as safeguarding tax protections to ensure that members can continue to benefit from enhanced and fixed protection. Our experience in this area means we are quick to spot any potential obstacles to an efficient winding up at an early stage.

We also work with trustees and employers to identify solutions for ongoing trustee protection including indemnities and insurance that are acceptable to both parties.

Recent experience

  • Advising the trustees of a DC scheme on its winding up after the collapse of its sponsoring employer
  • Advising TPR on the key legal and practical considerations and difficulties for trustees in winding up small and medium sized schemes
  • Advising trustees on the range of options open to them, including transfers to other schemes, transfers to winding up policies and winding up lump sums
  • Advising employers on the most efficient way to wind up a number of old legacy DC arrangements
  • Advising trustees of DC schemes on the potential winding up and bulk transfer of entire schemes to master trusts
  • Advising master trust sponsors and trustees on wind-up triggered both before and after the introduction of new requirements for master trusts winding up.