Updated with correction
Ten retirement plans in the U.K. have endorsed the use of recently introduced standardized templates that aim to make it easier for funds to assess whether investments provide value for money.
Introduced in May by the independent Cost Transparency Initiative, the templates have been received with optimism by pension plans, master trusts, investment consultants and asset managers.
The £64 billion ($77.8 billion) Universities Superannuation Scheme, Liverpool, is one of the 10 plans to endorse the templates.
"We are in the early stages of transitioning from existing templates and populating the new CTI templates," said Mel Duffield, pensions strategy executive at USS, which provides benefits to 400,000 participants across more than 350 institutions in the higher education sector. "Our investment and finance teams are working collaboratively on this and are currently doing a dry run to fully populate them using the latest data, with the goal of full completion by year-end."
"We are also preparing for the phases that will follow — the analysis of the template outputs and ensuring that the analysis is feeding appropriately into our internal decision-making and governance processes," Ms. Duffield said.
The £7.5 billion National Employment Savings Trust also endorsed the templates.
"We'll be raising the templates with our fund managers later this year at our regular annual review," said Paul Todd, NEST's London-based director of investment development and delivery. "We want to promote the templates as best-practice and showcase the benefits of using them."
A leading investment consultant said asset managers have varied in their ability and, in some cases, willingness to deliver cost information.
"Our clients are starting to adopt this initiative and this is being led by some of our largest and most sophisticated schemes who generally have greater resources available to them," said Jo Holden, Liverpool-based U.K. chief investment officer, wealth at Mercer. The expectation, she said, is that lessons from these exercises can be passed onto Mercer's broader client base to ensure that no schemes miss out on the benefits.
"Promisingly, we are aware that asset managers who have greater exposure to the U.K. institutional market are tending to embrace the initiative more readily, given the number of requests that they have received to date," Ms. Holden said.
A spokeswoman for Insight Investment, a global manager with £663.5 billion in assets under management said: "Insight contributed to the development of the disclosure templates being introduced by the initiative and very much welcomes its ambition to improve transparency for investors.''