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DB crisis is “over exaggerated”

Phil Farrell
lifetime

Quantum Advisory, the leading pensions, benefits and actuarial firm, today argued that the ‘crisis’ in the Defined Benefit industry is being over exaggerated. Commenting, Partner Phil Farrell.

Whilst there are always horror stories and large and scary figures, the fact is that the ‘crisis’ we so often hear about when it comes to DB pension schemes is vastly overrated.  There is no more a crisis today than there was a few years ago and, arguably, if anything DB has got better. Practice is now more robust on trustee boards, collaborative working between trustees and employers is much improved and certainly more transparent than it ever has been.

We are now also seeing much more innovative consulting – instead of kicking the can down the road there is more planning, road mapping, strategising and really thinking about what is to be achieved and how to get there – all with the member ultimately in mind. Products are far better, solutions more innovative and importantly more accessible for schemes at the smaller end of the scale.

Clearly there are still problems, with many hurdles to overcome and challenges to be addressed, but in the main we are in a better place with an ongoing desire for constant development and improvement, helping to address funding shortfalls.  As an industry, we are practised at innovation driven by experience. The industry should work harder to eradicate the overly negative perception that surrounds DB pensions and better promote the positive progress made to date.