MartinuWillis, associate at Barnett Waddingham, discussed getting value for money in a complex world of regulations

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“It’s all about achieving good member outcomes – and getting them that value for money,” MartinuWillis, associate at Barnett Waddingham, told the DC Insight audience.

Auto-enrolment has only served to increase regulatory and compliance issues in the world of DC pensions, and the new flexibilities have made good governance the top priority for employers and schemes.

Willis served up a stark warning to the audience: with possible ongoing and future changes to tax relief, the future of pensions legislation could well see further change.

So how can you ensure good value for money?

For Willis, it’s about building a strategy that you monitor constantly to suit the needs of your whole workforce.

“You need to understand your membership profile. What do they need? What do they value?” he questioned. “And remember – age demographics and needs are not necessarily the same thing.”

Asking the audience if they all know what ‘value for money’ is, Willis agreed that there is no real consensus, but rather that it is an issue of personal perception.

However, he addressed the ‘staples’ of what schemes need to offer for value for money to be achieved:

  • Communication
  • Engagement
  • Good administration
  • Good investment strategy
  • Worthwhile contribution structure
  • Fair charges and costs
  • Levels of risk
  • Choice of provider
  • Attention to process

These give the full value for money picture in a scheme – but the key also lies in education.

Said Willis of the financial education piece: “For true value for money, members need to have the education that enables them to value what they have on offer.”