Atkin trustees, actuaries, consultants & administrators

TPR Pension Cost Survey

The Pensions Regulator has carried out a survey1 of the pension costs paid by 316 private sector DB schemes. The research shows that, for smaller schemes especially, there is still a huge variation in the amount paid in fees based on the cost per member with some schemes paying more than 10 times others.

Whilst we might expect some variation due to scheme complexities and different services being provided this is still significantly higher than we would anticipate. We do not believe that these differences are justified and many of the reasons that have been used to explain larger fees such as access to technology and big scheme solutions are no longer true.

If you believe you are paying more then you should be you could consider:

- Compare your costs to the TPR survey and use our online fee estimator to obtain a comparative quote.

- Review your client agreement to understand precisely what you are paying for and whether it represents good value. In particular, you may want to review what you have agreed in terms of consultancy advice as this can often be an area where costs can build up.

- Carry out a competitive tender exercise, you can either run this yourself (we can give you some pointers) or use an independent third party.

There are many ways to run a competitive tender exercise, it is important to be clear at outset as to what services you want, to obtain a good variety of potential providers and think of ways you can best evaluate them. One method we like is to ask the shortlist to provide some training on a particular topic alongside their pitch which means the Trustees can get some value out of the sessions and really get to know the proposed team.

1. http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/trustees/db-scheme-costs-tool.aspx

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I have worked with Atkin & Co for many years and with Angela Norman in particular. My experience is that they are very professional and well organised, demonstrating a high level of integrity in the work they do and the information that they supply. Always helpful, Atkin & Co adopt a pragmatic approach to resolving problems if they arise.

Peter Wilkes, Harben Barker