Checklist will help tender processes, PLSA’S survey suggests | Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association

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Checklist will help tender processes, PLSA’S survey suggests

29 August 2018

More than eight in ten (81%) members of the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) would like The Pensions Regulator (TPR) to produce comprehensive checklist for trustees to use during the tender process for fiduciary management and investment consultancy arrangements. 

The research was carried out as part of the PLSA’s response to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) Investment Consultants Market Investigation Provisional Decision Report

In its report, the CMA recommended that pension trustees selecting their first fiduciary manager should have to run a competitive tender and trustees who have already appointed one without doing this must put the role out to tender within five years. The PLSA supports moves to improve the tendering process but believes greater guidance from TPR could be helpful. 

The PLSA’s snapshot research found three quarters (77%) of pension schemes had not run a tendering process for a fiduciary manager in the last five years and over half (55%) had not run a tendering process for an investment consultant in the same period. 

When asked what guidance from the regulator they would find useful in this process, 81% of PLSA members said they would like a checklist. Respondents also said they would appreciate best practice case studies (66%), templates for Request for Proposals documents (60%) and guidance on how to interpret information provided by potential suppliers (60%). 

In addition to the tender guidance, over two-thirds (69%) of those surveyed also suggested that TPR should produce a checklist for what to consider when choosing an investment consultant. In addition, 63% would like a similar checklist on what to consider when deciding upon a fiduciary manager. 

In its response, the PLSA also said that the CMA’s proposals should, overall, have a positive impact on the industry depending on the design and implementation of the suggestions. The PLSA said that it’s important that any remedies remain sufficiently flexible to allow for future market developments. 

Caroline Escott, Policy Lead: Investment & Defined Benefit, PLSA, said: 

“The CMA’s report is not a one-stop-shop to fix this market, but we believe it came to a number of sensible conclusions and its scrutiny of the sector has been important. With millions of savers reliant on pensions to fund their retirement it’s crucial we have an investment market that works efficiently and transparently at every stage. 

“To help make that process easier for pension funds, our survey has shown that schemes would like appropriate guidance from the regulator to help them understand and negotiate tendering processes for investment consultants and fiduciary managers. These guides would prove invaluable for schemes and ensure that best practice was being used across the industry to a set standard.”

-Ends- 

The PLSA's response to the Provisional decision report can be found here.

The PLSA’s comments following the release of the CMA’s provisional decision report can be found here.

Methodology

In total, 62 people – made up of industry professionals including trustees, chairs of trustee boards and pension investment managers – responded to the PLSA survey. It ran its survey from 2 August 2018 to 23 August 2018 amongst pension fund members on the design and implementation of the proposed demand-side remedies.

Press contacts

Robyn Margetts, Head of Media and PR
 020 7601 1726 | 07713 073 023 | [email protected]

Steven Kennedy, PR Manager
 020 7601 1737 | 07713 073024 | [email protected]