Our fourth annual large defined contribution (DC) scheme research comes after another busy year in pensions which saw a focus on scheme investments, value for money for members and good governance within pension arrangements.

This year’s report features an increased dataset with anonymised data from nine leading DC providers covering 109 large DC schemes (or large DC sections within a master trust) with combined assets under management of just under £128bn.

"After another busy year in pensions, with a large focus by the Government on matters of scheme investments, we continue to see regulatory focus on value for money for members as well as good governance within pension arrangements and an eye on future requirements for the longer-term member journey and support in retirement."

Key findings

We have collected a range of data covering the scheme structure, membership characteristics, default investment characteristics, Total Expense Ratio (TER) for the default and facilitation of at retirement options for members. In addition, we requested data this year on the target retirement strategy for the defaults of the schemes in the survey.

The headline findings from our analysis of this data shows:

•    Increasing use of master trusts for the very large schemes.
•    Master trusts are now offering on average the lowest TERs for the default investment strategies.
•    The pricing for off-the-shelf default strategies is becoming increasingly competitive even while seeing some sophisticated evolution of the strategies.
•    Passive investment management continues to dominate the default strategies.
•    Large schemes are supporting members in one way or another as they start accessing their benefits and provider propositions in this area are continuing to develop.

Read Large DC schemes analysis 2024

Our fourth annual large DC scheme research includes data from nine leading DC providers covering 109 large DC schemes with combined AUM of just under £128bn.


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