Pensions - Articles - A third of pensions likely to meet Fast Track parameters


A third of DB pension schemes (35%) are likely to meet TPR’s Fast Track requirements, against an improving picture for scheme valuations according to the latest benchmarking analysis from Hymans Robertson. The research implies that pensions schemes’ funding has been relatively unscathed after last year’s initial disruption, but challenges remain warns the leading pensions and financial services consultancy.

 Research undertaken by the leading pensions and financial services consultancy also reveals that nearly half (46%) of DB Trustees questioned thought they would experience regulator intervention before their next valuation.

 Commenting on the impact of the changing environment facing DB Schemes Laura McLaren, says: “With the ongoing fallout from Covid-19, Brexit and numerous regulatory changes, the next round of recovery plans may highlight a more dispersed picture across schemes with sponsor covenant and affordability looking set to have the largest impacts. Further out, more regulatory change is coming with Fast Track compliance having the potential to impact funding plans and push up cash requirements. When we questioned DB Trustees about TPR’s forthcoming consultation, nearly half (44%) said they would like more flexible Fast Track parameters with 41% believing transitional arrangements would be helpful. A further 43% want wider ‘Bespoke’ flexibility while 41% also wanted barriers to ‘levelling down’ existing funding plans.”

 Commenting on the benchmarking analysis, Laura McLaren, Partner, Hymans Robertson, says: “TPR’s latest scheme funding analysis highlights the good progress many schemes are making but the outlook remains uncertain. With markets managing to recover strongly after last year’s initial disruption pension schemes, on the whole, are emerging in a good position however for some there are likely to be longer lasting implications on sponsor covenant and affordability.

 “TPR’s analysis provides schemes with a good opportunity to benchmark their current funding plans. Indeed, with the DB funding regime under review, this data offers valuable insight into where TPR might ultimately set the parameters within the framework when they publish the draft code at the end of this year. Even well-funded schemes will need to be able to demonstrate that they have clear, robust plans in place.”
  

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