Roundtable discussions

What can we learn from Master Trust Trustees?

10 Nov 2020 - Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Master Trusts are dominating the DC Market. Master Trust Trustees have a lot of power in shaping the future of the DC Market, but with great power comes great responsibility.  

It was interesting to hear from leading Master Trust Trustees in our latest roundtable discussions on how they see the future of the DC pensions market, the challenges they face in their role, and what schemes can learn from them.

If you want to find out what the Master Trust Trustees have to say, head over to the Hymans’ DC Master Trust Marketplace hub.

What is the Master Trust Marketplace?

Our DC Master Trust Marketplace brings together leading Master Trusts, all in one place, to discuss topical issues.

For the latest series we have 11 leading Master Trust Trustees, who collectively manage £40 billion of assets and look after more than 11 million pension scheme members.

To add some further spice to the mix, this time we’ve also invited a professional trustee, who doesn’t sit on a Master Trust board, to give their thoughts too.  

Why head over to the Marketplace?

Undoubtedly, Master Trusts are expected to be the driving force in the DC market for many years to come. These roundtable discussions give you first-hand insight into the Master Trust Trustee world, what they get up to and what’s top of their agenda.  

In these discussions you can hear their thoughts on some of the top questions submitted by attendees. These cover three themes:

On Responsible Investing, the Trustees were asked:

  • How do you develop an RI policy which reflects the Trustees’ views but might differ from the MT provider’s views? How do you justify or benchmark your RI approach?   (tricky first question – this is going to be good!)
  • How do you engage your members, participating employers, and providers, on the subject of RI?
  • How do you balance the needs and objectives of all your members and their employers based on their diverse RI beliefs?

On Governance, the Trustees were asked:

  • How do you assess your effectiveness as a trustee board? How do you independently benchmark your performance and monitor your board effectiveness? How do you fare on Diversity and Inclusion?  (Only one Trustee under the age of 40 – well you all look under 40 to me)
  • How do you maintain your independence from the Master Trust provider?  Are there any situations where you need to manage conflicts with the Master Trust provider?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of sitting on many trustee boards?

On Overall value for members, the Trustees were asked:

  • How do you define value for members? What challenges do you face when assessing value for members and improving value for members? (Did someone say Ozzy Osbourne should read The Chair’s Statements to members!!)
  • How do you independently benchmark your value for member assessment?
  • What are your thoughts on providers setting annual management charges (AMC) at different rates depending on membership size vs fixed rates for all members?

What have been the key takeaways?

Master Trust Trustees are certainly at the top of their game and the right people for the role.  With the Master Trust Trustees coming together for these discussions, sharing their knowledge and thoughts, I do believe this will lead on to some great things for the DC pensions world – it’s one thing I’ve been reminded of this year - that we can achieve great things when we come together.

What’s next?

Following the success of these roundtables, the next sessions will be interactive discussions between the audience and Master Trust Trustees, focussing on the issues that matter most to you. We’ll be in touch to let you know when you can register for these.


Watch Discussion 3

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Watch Discussion 4

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