U.K. corporate retirement plans will be asked to report diversity and inclusion data about their trustee boards to The Pensions Regulator.
TPR said Wednesday that this is its first survey to help paint a clearer picture of trustee diversity. All trustees of defined benefit and defined contribution plans are eligible to take part in an anonymous online survey. About 97,000 trustees and public service retirement plan board members will receive an invite to complete the survey later this month.
The survey will look at the proportion of trustees with protected characteristics, their academic and socioeconomic backgrounds and work experience; ask for trustees' views on diversity and inclusion in a measurable way, allowing the regulator to find changes in sentiment over time; and allow the regulator to understand what diversity and inclusion data about trustees are being recorded and the intended use of such data. TPR is also looking to record action taken to ensure diversity and inclusion among trustees and whether information on benefits for savers is being captured, and it wants to measure awareness of its equality, diversity and inclusion action plan.
The regulator's request came after its research into DC plans showed just 17% formally capture diversity data with regard to their trustees. The low figure was usually because it was deemed irrelevant due to the small size of the trustee board or the plan itself, a TPR news release said.
Data that were recorded were sex and age, followed by ethnicity, disability and education. Very few plans obtained data on religion or religious beliefs, gender identity or sexual orientation.
"Diversity and inclusion is important to good governance and decision-making, and therefore in achieving good saver outcomes," said Louise Davey, director of regulatory policy, analysis and advice, in the release. "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."
TPR said it expects to publish the results of the survey before the end of the year. The deadline for responses will be Aug. 4.