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First trustee diversity and inclusion survey launched by TPR

Ref: PN23-16

Issued: Wednesday 5 July 2023

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is calling on all occupational pension scheme trustees to take part in an important exercise to build a clearer picture of trustee diversity.

All trustees of defined contribution and defined benefit schemes will be eligible to take part in an anonymous online survey gathering diversity and inclusion data about their scheme’s board.

The survey comes after TPR research into defined contribution pension schemes showed most did not formally capture diversity data in relation to their trustees. This was usually because it was not felt relevant due to the small size of the trustee board or scheme.

Fewer than one-in-five schemes (17%) formally obtained and recorded any diversity data in relation to their trustees, a similar figure to 2021 (14%).

The data was most likely to be recorded was sex and age followed by ethnicity, disability and education. Very few schemes recorded data on religion/belief, gender identity or sexual orientation.

Louise Davey, TPR’s Director of Regulatory Policy, Analysis and Advice, said: “Diversity and inclusion is important to good governance and decision-making, and therefore in achieving good saver outcomes.

“This online survey will help us build a picture of trustees’ diversity so we can effectively measure our progress in promoting high standards of diversity and inclusion.”

Invites are set to go to around 97,000 trustees and public service pension scheme board members. Emails containing a link to the online survey will be sent out later this month.

The survey will:

  • explore the proportion of trustees with protected characteristics, their academic and socio-economic backgrounds and work experience
  • discover trustees’ views on diversity and inclusion, in a measurable way allowing for TPR to detect changes in sentiment over time
  • understand what diversity and inclusion data about trustees is being recorded by schemes and its intended use
  • record actions being taken to ensure diversity and inclusion among trustees in their work and whether information on benefits for savers is being captured
  • measure awareness of TPR’s equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) action plan

TPR expects to release results from the survey before the end of 2023.

Notes for editors

  • Email invitations will be sent out this month. Invitations also went out by post at the end of June. The deadline for responses is 4 August.
  • Figures showing the proportion of schemes formally capturing diversity data was published as part of findings from the DC survey (PDF, 2,191KB, 47 pages), published yesterday (Tuesday 4 July 2023).
  • TPR’s EDI Strategy aims to promote high standards of equality, diversity and inclusion among our regulated community. TPR has set up an industry working group of about 80 representatives from across industry to support it to develop good practice guidance, practical tools, case studies and collate data and research.
  • TPR published its action plan in September 2022, setting out our vision to support the trustee landscape to become more representative. The trustee survey (along with industry stakeholder engagement and publication of the guidance) is one of the key deliverables of our action plan.
  • In March 2023, TPR published EDI guidance to provide practical steps for all schemes, regardless of where they are on their EDI journey and provides case study examples of how these actions have been implemented.
  • TPR is the regulator of work-based pension schemes in the UK. Our statutory objectives are to:
    • protect members’ benefits
    • reduce the risk of calls on the Pension Protection Fund
    • promote, and to improve understanding of, the good administration of work-based pension schemes
    • maximise employer compliance with automatic enrolment duties
    • minimise any adverse impact on the sustainable growth of an employer (in relation to the exercise of the regulator’s functions under Part 3 of the Pensions Act 2004 only)

Press contacts

Dan Menhinnitt

Media Officer
01273 349511

Matt Adams

Senior Media and Parliamentary Manager
01273 662086

Out of hours

This is for journalists only with a media enquiry. The below number will divert to our on call media officer.
01273 648496

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