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Regulator zeroes in on issues in small DB schemes

The Pensions Regulator is stepping up its activity with small schemes after finding they have poorer governance standards.

Fresh research from TPR finds most defined benefit savers are in well-run larger schemes but small schemes are lagging behind.

It says smaller schemes are less stringent about assessing the fitness and propriety of new trustee board members and they perform worse than larger schemes on meeting the principles of TPR’s funding code.

TPR says it is stepping up its involvement with small schemes to assess their performance on governance, investment and funding.

It will give feedback to trustees of all small schemes and those that do not act on the feedback could face further action.

TPR regulatory policy, analysis and advice executive director David Fairs says: “Under our clearer, quicker and tougher approach, schemes in all segments of the pensions landscape can expect to receive greater scrutiny from us.”

Fairs says: “In particular, we are taking a far more directional approach to small schemes to drive up standards and ensure all members are in well-run schemes. It is challenging to be a scheme trustee and we continue to help trustees, of all size schemes, meet the standards we expect and make a positive difference for their members.”

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