MetLife Assurance: Employers take primary responsibility for de-risking pension schemes

Employers have become more engaged with the management of defined benefit (DB) pension schemes and increasingly take primary responsibility for de-risking, according to research by MetLife Assurance.

The research found that 61% of respondents with turnover of more than £1 million accept primary responsibility in partnership with trustees or sole responsibility for de-risking, compared with 46% who said the same when the research was conducted in 2010.

The research also found that employers have become more aware of buy-ins, asset allocation and buyouts as de-risking strategies. Over a third (37%) of employers surveyed were aware of buy-ins, while 33% were aware of asset allocation and 28% were aware of buyouts. Nearly half (42%) of respondents were unaware of any de-risking strategies when presented with a list of solutions.

Wayne Daniel, chief executive officer at MetLife Assurance, said: “Employers increasing engagement with pension schemes and acceptance of responsibility is welcome and signifies more collegiate working relationships with sponsors and trustees.

“The industry can take some comfort from the levels of awareness of buy-ins and buyouts, but clearly more needs to be done to help employers understand the de-risking options open to them.

“It is expected that the closer working relationship between employers and trustees will be beneficial when exploring solutions and achieving the best outcomes for schemes and their members.”

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