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Call for Evidence

Defined Benefit pension schemes

Defined benefit (DB) pension schemes promise to pay pension benefits based on salary and length of service. There are over 5,100 UK private sector DB schemes, with around £1.4 trillion in assets.

DB schemes are in decline in the private sector. The number of private sector employees still accruing new DB benefits reduced from 3.5 million in 2006 to just under 0.9 million in 2022. However, they remain of critical importance, with 9.6 million members relying on them for a substantial portion of their expected retirement income.  In our Saving for Later Life inquiry, we found that people with access to a DB pension were more likely to be on track for an adequate income in retirement.  The improvement in aggregate scheme funding levels over the last year make this an important time to consider the future.

The deadline for submissions is Wednesday 26 April 2023.

1. Is the right regulatory framework in place to enable open DB schemes to thrive?

2. Is there sufficient capacity in the buy-out market to meet demand from DB schemes? If not, what are the alternatives?

3. What should the Pensions Regulator (TPR) do to improve the quality of trustee boards?

4. What, if any, further steps should be taken to encourage DB scheme consolidation?

5. Are there any circumstances in which consolidation should be mandatory?

6. Do the recent improvements in funding levels change the future role of DB schemes in UK pension provision?

7. How should scheme surpluses be treated? For example, should they remain in the scheme or be shared between employers and scheme members? Are the issues different for open and closed schemes?

8. What are the implications of improved funding levels for the Pension Protection Fund?

9. Should changes be made to the Pension Protection Fund (PPF), Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS) or Fraud Compensation Fund (FCF) to improve outcomes for members?

This call for written evidence has now closed.

Go back to Defined benefit pension schemes Inquiry