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The Pensions Regulator (TPR) announced that for the first time ever the number of participants in defined contribution plans in the UK outnumbered those in defined benefit funds, primarily due to automatic enrollment.

In the annual DC report, TPR said defined contribution arrangements had 14.8 million participants (2016).  Defined benefit plans only amounted to 11.7 million.

Executive director for regulatory policy, Andrew Warwick-Thompson, said that 7 million workers joined pensions for the first time thanks to automatic enrollment.  Warwick-Thompson however, did express concerns over the fragmentation of defined contribution arrangements.  He said, “we strongly believe that it is unacceptable to have two classes of DC pension saver – those that benefit from the premium scale and good governance and administration, and those that do not.”         

Details of a trustee initiative will be released later this year and will include clear objectives that will help raise standards of trusteeship and take regulatory action against those who fail to meet a required level of competence.