The SFO requires trustees to set scheme-specific funding targets. And the regulator has set ‘trigger points’, below which schemes may be subject to investigation.
A survey of 230 UK pension schemes across a variety of industry sectors by Mercer Human Resource Consulting found at least 30% of trustee bodies were prepared to trigger investigations and take their chances with the regulatory follow-up. The total could be as high as 60%, according to Mercer.
At the time of the study, 49 of the cases surveyed had presented plans to the regulator for assessment; 23% had received confirmation that the regulator would not intervene; 20% had been challenged to justify their approach (although this did not mean they had to change it); and 57% had received no response at all.