Greater diversity needed in pension sector, say 84% of pension schemes

17 Dec 2020

A total of 84% of pension schemes agree that more diversity is required in the sector.

This is despite nearly 48% of schemes possessing no set strategy in relation to diversity or inclusion, according to industry research.

The survey carried out by the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) shows that 91% of pension schemes were of the opinion that enhanced diversity and inclusion within the pensions industry could lead to improved decision-making and help to attract and retain talent.

In addition, 89% of schemes who were surveyed believed improved diversity and inclusion would better the representation of members’ interests, according to a Pensions Age report.

That said, the survey also found varied opinions in regard to the current diversity of pension trustee boards, with 28% saying it was ‘good’, 31% described it as ‘poor’ and 35% said it was ‘average’.

Moreover, 65% of pension schemes said there needs to be more diversity within the board of pension trustees. A total of 82% said this would help boost innovation.

Nevertheless, 48% claimed to have no specific strategic objectives around diversity or inclusion, with the “vast majority” unsure if a plan will be introduced.

Commenting on the survey’s findings, PLSA chief executive, Julian Mund said: “Our survey shows that the pensions industry recognises that it needs to do much more to improve diversity and inclusion and are positive about the benefits for schemes and members of doing so – but there’s a long way still to go.

“It’s vital that pension schemes have the right people in place throughout the organisation and to do that you need a wide range of skills, backgrounds and outlooks to ensure all members interests are at the heart of decision-making processes.”