Seven defined contribution plans in the U.K. have received a new stamp of approval from the U.K.'s National Association of Pension Funds, for making their plans understandable and attractive to participants and for encouraging employees to join.
The seven plans — run by Kellogg Co. (U.K.), Accenture Ltd., Marks & Spencer PLC, BG Group, IBM Corp. (U.K.), Standard Life PLC and the Royal College of Physicians — are the first to receive the newly established Pension Quality Mark. The mark is available to U.K. pensions schemes only.
Mark Brooks, an NAPF spokesman, said in an interview that those earning the quality mark must meet three criteria set by the NAPF. The plans must:
• allow the equivalent of at least 10% of employee wages to be contributed toward the retirement plan, with at least 6% contributed by the employer and 4% contributed by the employee.
• have governance arrangements in place that show a commitment to operating in the best interests of its members; and
• provide straightforward information to members when they join the plan and thereafter.
Fifty-two percent of U.K. employees said they would be more likely to join a DC plan scheme that had been awarded the Pension Quality Mark, according to an NAPF news release.
“This will help employers demonstrate the value of their pension schemes and encourage more employees to join,” Mr. Brooks said.