Risk Management Survey 2020


Crowe, in association with Pensions Age, is undertaking its fourth survey into the risk management of Trust based pension schemes. Completion of this survey each year identifies trends in risk management and there are some new questions on any changes made in relation to COVID-19 and fraud and cybercrime.

If you are actively involved in managing occupational Trust based pension arrangements, we would appreciate it if you could complete this short survey. It will take no longer than 10 minutes to complete and the survey will close on 31 October 2020. We will not publish any names of participants or their organisations in our report.

ALL PARTICIPANTS IN THIS SURVEY WILL BE ENTERED INTO A PRIZE DRAW WITH A CHANCE TO WIN AN i-Watch! The draw is conducted by Pensions Age and the winner will be informed directly.


Questions
1. What type of occupational Trust-based pension arrangement are you responsible for?
Trust based DB
Trust based DC
Hybrid (i.e. both DB and DC)
2. How large is the pension fund you are responsible for?
Less than £100m assets
£100m - £1,000 assets
more than £1,000m assets
3. How many members are in your pension arrangement?
Less than 1,000 members
1,000 - 9,999 members
more than 10,000 members
4. Is there a journey plan that underpins your strategy in place?
Yes
No
5. Has there been any change to the journey plan since March 2020 due to COVID 19?
Yes
No
6. Has there been any change to the following since March 2020:
Yes No Don't know
a) Investment allocation between growth and matching assets?
b) Triggers to achieving de-risking?
c) Deferral of buy-ins/buy out
d) Parental Guarantees?
e) Securitisation of assets?
f) Business continuity plans?
g) Increased interaction to the employer?
7. How confident are you that your administrator has the available resources to fulfil your scheme's day-to-day requirements? (1 = very confident, 2 = confident, 3 = somewhat confident, 4 = less confident, 5 = not confident at all).
Rank
8. How confident are you that your administrator has the available resources to fulfil your scheme's special projects? (1 = very confident, 2 = confident, 3 = somewhat confident, 4 = less confident, 5 = not confident at all).
Rank
9. Has there been an impact on service level in the following months?
Yes No Don't Know
April
May
June
July
August
10. Have you asked your administrators whether there have been any changes to the following procedures?
Yes No Don't Know
Authorisation of the payment of expenses?
Authorisation and review of the calculation of member benefits?
Call centres?
Work performed outside EU?
Training staff?
On boarding new admin team members?

Risk appetite/ tolerance

Risk appetite is the amount and type of risk that the pension scheme is willing to take in order to meet its strategic objectives.
Risk tolerance is the amount of risk that a pension scheme can feasibly cope with.

11. Has your Trustee body discussed topics such as the Trustees' appetite/ tolerance for risk?
No discussions have taken place by the Trustees on this subject
No further action taken following initial discussions
Trustees have developed a generic statement describing the pension scheme's risk appetite/ tolerance
Trustees have identified differing levels of risk appetite/ tolerance on a risk by risk basis
Trustees have used risk appetite/ tolerance concepts to help prioritise mitigate specific risks
12. Does your pension scheme have an Internal Auditor function? If yes, who fulfils this role?
Not sure/ have not considered
Have considered and decided not necessary
Have considered necessary but no arrangement currently in place
Yes, and the role is undertaken by the sponsor's internal audit function
Yes, and the role is undertaken by an independent audit firm or other third party
Fraud
13a. Has your administrator had an independent review of its process for putting member benefits into payment to ensure that these cannot be diverted to fraudsters' bank accounts?
Yes
No
13b. Has your administrator had an independent review of its process for vetting staff with access to member data prior to their appointment, to ensure it is capable of preventing fraudsters gaining access to your systems and data?
Yes
No
Cyber/IT
14. In terms of the potential vulnerability of your pension scheme to cybercrime:
Yes No Don't Know
a) Have the Trustees identified the key operations, IT systems and information flows vulnerable to cybercrime?
b) Have the Trustees assessed the vulnerability of their Third Party suppliers to cybercrime?
c) Does your cybercrime breach plan cover the following:
Containing the breach (to stop further information being taken)?
Reporting process for the breach?
External communication (members, investors, advisors)?
Investigation process?
Restoration process?
There is no plan in place?
d) Do you have access to the specialist skills (not just generic IT skills) needed to help you investigate the nature of a cyber breach?
e) Have the Trustees received cybercrime scenario-based training?
15. In your view, what are the biggest risks facing Trust based DB pension arrangements in the UK? Please rank your top five risks (1 being most important):
Rank
Fraud/ scams
IT/ Cyber risk
Trustee capabilities/ governance
Meeting regulatory /compliance requirements
Funding volatility
Inappropriate Investment strategy
Investment under-performance
Administration
Employer Covenant
Quality of risk management
Sponsor/ Trustee relationship
Liquidity
Poor communications
Inappropriate decision making by members
Data protection
Inadequate Controls
16. In your view, what are the biggest risks facing Trust based DC pension arrangements in the UK? Please rank your top five risks (1 being most important):
Rank
Fraud/ scams
IT/Cyber
Trustee capabilities/governance
Meeting regulatory/ compliance requirements
Member administration & record - keeping
Investment performance monitoring
Data protection
Receiving contributions on time
Delivering 'Value for Members'
Poor communications
Design of default fund
Inadequate Controls
Inappropriate decision making by members at retirement
Please complete your details below. This will be used for the free iWatch draw. Your details will not be used in any published article, only anonymous and averaged results. Data: our guarantee, your details will only be used by Pensions Age and our survey partner Crowe, and will not be passed to third parties. Pensions Age will use your data in line with our Privacy Policy.