DWP launches call for evidence on trustee capability

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and HM Treasury have launched a joint call for evidence to deepen the evidence base around trustee capability and the barriers to trustees doing their job in a way which is effective.

The consultation, one of a number of measures announced as part of the Chancellor’s first Mansion House speech, is focused on three areas in particular: trustee skills and capability, the role of advice, barriers to trustee effectiveness.

In particular, the government said that it is "particularly interested" in whether trustees have the right knowledge and skills to consider investment in the full breadth of investment opportunities.

The call for evidence is considering trustee capability across the landscape, including defined contribution (DC), defined benefit (DB), and collective defined contribution (CDC) schemes, as well as hybrid schemes, although some areas in the call for evidence focus more on one type of scheme than the other.

The responses to the call for evidence and other stakeholder engagement are expected to help inform DWP and HMT’s understanding of these issues and, if necessary, help inform the development of future policies in these areas.

Commenting in the ministerial foreword, Pensions Minister, Laura Trott, and Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Andrew Griffith, added: “We recognise that the role of a trustee is not an easy one, and it comes with significant responsibility. We must ensure trustees are properly equipped and supported to meet the demands of the role.

“We need trustees to have the right skills to consider investment in a full range of assets that could provide higher returns for savers and give them a comfortable retirement. We are delighted to launch this call for evidence.

"We need to ensure trustees have the right support, skills, knowledge, and experience to undertake their challenging roles to secure the best outcomes for pension savers.

“Trustees do not work in a vacuum, and to deliver significant change, we cannot only target one part of the investment supply chain.

"That is why this call for evidence is being undertaken jointly by both our departments, with DWP looking at the role of trustees, and HMT looking at advisors in the investment decision-making process.

“Building the evidence base on the way trustees make decisions and use advice will enable government to develop a holistic and informed approach to future policy decisions. At the heart of our ambition is ensuring that the retirement savings of all hardworking savers are properly looked after and helped to grow."

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