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Checking you run a quality DC scheme

You should check the quality of your scheme providing defined contribution (DC) benefits by referring to the DC code and related guides.

You should be able to demonstrate to employers and scheme members that you are running a quality scheme which is more likely to deliver good retirement outcomes.

Key points

  • Assess your scheme against the DC code on an ongoing basis.
  • Use the results of your assessment to help you produce your annual chair’s statement.
  • Use your assessment as an opportunity to review and refresh systems and controls, monitor risks and prioritise actions.

Assessing your scheme

You should assess your scheme against the DC code on an ongoing basis.

We have developed a template which you can use to help you:

  • refer to specific sections of the DC code and related guides
  • assess your scheme against the standards in the DC code
  • determine whether your scheme meets the standards in the code and where key areas of weakness lie
  • develop your chair’s statement

You can adapt the template to suit your needs.

You may prefer other ways to assess your scheme, such as using your own tools or existing scheme documentation, such as your statement of investment principles.

Chair's statement

You can use the assessment to help you complete your annual chair’s statement.

Where standards in the code are related to an area of scheme governance or administration that you are required to report on in the chair’s statement, the template provides an opportunity for you to start to develop your narrative for the statement.

Improving scheme management

You can also use the assessment as an opportunity to review and refresh systems, processes and controls; monitor risks; identify any new risks; and prioritise actions.

You may decide, in consultation with your employer/provider, that where standards can’t be improved, the best course of action is to close your DC scheme. Winding up a scheme may be justified where the costs of doing so are not out of proportion to the expected benefits for members in the longer term.

Master trusts

If you run a multi-employer scheme (known as a 'master trust') your scheme needs to have master trust authorisation.