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Defined Contribution

Number of U.K. workplace DC plans falls 8% in 2018, Pensions Regulator finds

The number of U.K. workplace defined contribution plans fell 8% in 2018, according to figures by The Pensions Regulator.

DC trust, an annual study in its ninth year by TPR, showed the total number of smaller plans with at least two but fewer than 12 participants also fell, by 2%.

Since the beginning of 2010 the number of DC plans has declined by 56% to 2,010, out of which, 74 are multiemployer plans, known as master trusts, the figures showed.

The declines are "driven by consolidation of schemes into master trusts which are currently going through authorization to put tougher safeguards around this growing market and better protect members," said David Fairs, TPR's executive director of regulatory policy, analysis and advice, in a blog post Thursday on the regulator's website.

Assets in U.K. DC plans increased 25% in 2018 to £60 billion ($77 billion). Assets reported in 2017 totaled about £48 billion, increasing 22% from 2016.

Some 52% of U.K. DC plans use a default investment strategy, increasing slightly from 2017.

The total amount of assets that retirement plans transferred into other, often larger, DC plans, including defined benefit plan transfers to DC plans, has increased by almost 150% since 2017, to almost £5 billion. Contributions also increased by 22% since 2017.

However, TPR said assets transferred out of DC plans to other workplace or personal retirement arrangements increased by 22% in the past year, to £2.1 billion.