We present the findings of our annual research into large defined contribution (DC) pension schemes. Our report helps provide an indication of what may be expected from large schemes, as well as providing wider market insight.

There has been a lot of focus in recent times on value for members (VFM) and improving member outcomes, particularly at the smaller end of the market, with new requirements for scheme comparisons in the annual VFM assessments. 

At Barnett Waddingham one of our core values is to do the right thing for our clients and members. So we are keen to ensure that the larger DC schemes also have easy access to the insight of comparable schemes in the market.

The data we're reporting on

For the second year running we have undertaken research, based on our own knowledge of these clients and working with some of the top UK pension providers, to gain insight into the following.


Scheme structures


Default investment strategies

Retirement options

Our research has focused on schemes with over £0.5bn in DC assets, including individual sections within larger Master Trusts. 

What do some of our key findings highlight?

  • The increase in the number of large sections within Master Trusts.
  • Average member fund values being a key influencer on member borne charges.
  • That larger schemes are developing their investment strategies, with some increasing the member-borne charges to pay for the increased ESG focus and diversity.

The authors would like to thank Marie Blood, DC Consultant at Barnett Waddingham, who is a key contributor to this blog.  

Read the report

To read the report or to get in touch with our experts, please email our team today.

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