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Key points

  • Ensure DC schemes handle contributions and financial transactions promptly and accurately.
  • Ensure member data is held securely and there are effective disaster recovery plans in place.
  • Ensure that there is an appropriate and robust retirement process in place.

Contributions

Ensure that your clients’ schemes have a payment schedule. Check that employer and employee contributions are paid according to the schedule and that trustees seek to recover any contributions that haven’t been paid in full or on time. For more information about trustees’ responsibilities, go to maintaining contributions.

Your clients’ schemes should offer flexible contribution options that enable members to vary their contributions. Options that the employer may want to offer members include additional contributions, match funding or salary sacrifice.

Ensure that members are regularly informed that their level of contributions is a key factor in determining the size of their pension fund.

Processing core scheme financial transactions

Your clients must ensure that all core scheme financial transactions are processed promptly and accurately. Trustees must set out how they have done this in a statement in their annual report and accounts. These transactions include:

  • bulk transfers in and out
  • member fund switches and redirections
  • receipt of contributions
  • investment of contributions
  • individual transfers in and out quotes and payments
  • benefits payable on death
  • purchase of annuities and payments of lump sums

You should be able to show trustees how your arrangements ensure that the scheme meets legal requirements relating to the services you provide.

Administration systems

Ensure that systems used to store scheme information are capable of managing the integrity and security of member data.

Disaster recovery and business continuity planning

Ensure a disaster recovery plan is in place in case physical damage occurs to your premises or any other service provider.

You should help trustees to ensure there are sufficient financial resources to put things right and that this cost isn’t incurred by members.

You should consider whether it is appropriate to insure against the risks of a significant problem occurring.

Retirement process

You should ensure that:

  • members are told about their retirement options and the government’s Pension Wise service, as required by the new legislation – for more information, go to our trustee guidance on communicating about pension flexibilities
  • the scheme has an appropriate and robust retirement process which sets out the key activities, timeframes and who is responsible for them
  • members are supported by having access to an independent financial adviser and by being given information that enables them to make their own decisions

For more information, go to retirement process.

Record-keeping

Ensure that all member data for your clients’ schemes is complete and accurate, and evaluated regularly. Go to record-keeping.

Detailed guidance

  • ‘Maintaining contributions and processing core scheme financial transactions section’ of the DC code: guidance on core scheme financial transactions, disaster recovery and business continuity planning.
  • Contribution levels section of the DC regulatory guidance: information on flexible contribution structures and communicating with members.
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