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What makes a quality DC Scheme?

What makes a quality DC Scheme?

At BCF we're working hard to meet and exceed the standards set out by the Pensions Regulator for quality workplace pension schemes. We were one of the first UK pension schemes to be independently verified as in accord with the Master Trust Assurance principles developed by The Pensions Regulator and ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales)

The Regulator has set out 6 principles which DC schemes are expected to demonstrate.

Principle 1: Essential characteristics       
Schemes are designed to be durable, fair and deliver good outcomes for members     

BCF is designed with the requirements of Brethren members in mind and funds are invested in a variety of assets to maximise outcomes for members whilst respecting their conscientious needs. We treat all the beneficiaries of our scheme fairly and have a transparent charging structure in place which is clearly communicated to members at point of selection. We offer a flexible contribution structure to all members, and provide information to assist members in making the choices they have when they reach retirement.

  Principle 2: Establishing governance  
A comprehensive scheme governance framework is established at set-up, with clear accountabilities and responsibilities agreed and made transparent.

The BCF Trustees each have their own specified areas of responsibility to ensure good governance of the scheme. We have clearly defined and documented internal procedures and controls for all aspects of the scheme.The Trust meets regularly in order to review and monitor the ongoing effectiveness and performance of the scheme.

 Principle 3: People 
Those who are accountable for scheme decisions and activity understand their duties and are fit and proper to carry them out.

The BCF Trustees have been selected for their range of skills and experience, and have  completed trustee training from The Pensions Regulator. Our Scheme Administrator holds relevant qualifications and attends national pensions events to maintain CPD and keep up to date with industry developments and legislative activity.

Principle 4: On going governance and monitoring
Schemes benefit from effective governance and monitoring through their full lifecycle

BCF recognises the importance of constant monitoring and review of all elements of the scheme to ensure that it continues to meet good practice in line with the Code and Regulatory Guidance set out by its regulators. Our investment objectives are clearly documented and we regularly assess the performance of investments against these. We maintain a risk register and ensure we have internal controls in place to mitigate all identified risks.

Principle 5: Administration
Schemes are well-administered with timely, accurate and comprehensive processes and records

BCF is fully compliant with our regulatory record-keeping requirements, and all scheme transactions are processed promptly and accurately. We are currently implementing a market-leading bespoke software system to improve and streamline our administrative processes and ensure we are able to cope with scale. Our complaints procedure is maintained and made available on request.

Principle 6: Communications to members
Communication to members is designed and delivered to ensure members are able to make informed decisions about their retirement savings.

BCF are committed to talking about pensions in a clear and understandable way through our literature, website and other events. We disclose costs and charges to our members annually and, through our annual statement, will regularly inform members that their level of contributions is a key factor in determining the overall size of their pension fund. We support our members in choosing the most appropriate option at retirement by providing clear communications about the choices available.

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