Almost two thirds of sole trustees cite appropriate technology as biggest challenge

Almost two-thirds (62 per cent) of defined benefit (DB) pension scheme sole trustees think that having technology in place to support the scheme management style that suits their governance approach is the biggest challenge facing them over the next few years.

Hymans Robertson's, The Future of Sole Trusteeship, report also found that just over half (54 per cent) of sole trustees were concerned about resourcing the demand from schemes for ‘real-time’ delivery.

The same number (54 per cent) also found the challenge of embedding the new DB funding code is something they’ll have to pay particular attention to over the next few years and 38 per cent said improving standards of scheme governance was a key challenge.

The report also found that just 31 per cent of respondents said they saw scrutiny and intervention from The Pensions Regulator (TPR) as a challenge, a finding that was described as “surprising” by Hymans Robertson head of sole trustee services, Shani McKenzie.

McKenzie believes this low figure is because TPR scrutiny is less likely to apply to professional corporate sole trustees or, these trustees are confident that little intervention would be required.

Additionally, McKenzie commented: “For DB schemes, changing post-pandemic styles of working combined with a need for agile decision making, has created an increased demand for real-time technology solutions.

“And while the development of technology was cited as their biggest challenge, it’s good to see a number of sole trustees are embracing better use of technology as one of the best ways to achieve higher standards and outcomes for their members.

“Yet, while a number of sole trustees have considered how technology can drive real-time scheme management and strategic progress for schemes, only a small number are already on an active journey to introduce more efficient, digitally-led processes.

“The remainder see it as a longer-term need. The issue with taking a longer-paced journey is it could lead to under-resourcing and inefficient processes, both of which could then go on to create delays in scheme progress and problems around governance and consistency.”

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