Transparency Task Force sets out stall

An industry body set up to campaign for improved transparency around workplace pensions is proposing members tackle issues covering 18 areas of concern. 

The Transparency Task Force, set up by Andy Agathangelou, intends to focus on a broad spectrum of issues ranging from transaction costs to executive pay. At the organisation’s third meeting yesterday, Agathangelou told attendees that the time was right to push the transparency issue up the agenda, with consumer groups, politicians, media and public opinion all in support of increased scrutiny of pension structures.

Member feedback has been sought on the 18 areas of concern for the group, which are expected to be concentrated into more focused working teams in the coming weeks. The group intends to lobby stakeholders with a view to increasing transparency in all areas of workplace pensions.

Agathangelou said: “Transparency is increasingly being seen as a commercial virtue. So we have a market where some people see transparency as a commercial virtue. Suppliers to the market are understanding the more transparent you are, the more market share you will get. So there are the old school providers and the new school. Transparency will happen because consumer groups and the regulator want it to. In the Netherlands they saw the regulator coming down the line and took the issue by the scruff of the neck. We can make transparency happen more elegantly than it otherwise might by getting involved now.” 

First draft of the 18 proposed teams for the Transparency Task Force

#1 Data, Reporting & Benchmarking

#2 Transaction Costs & Charges

#3 International Insights

#4 Showcasing UK Best Practice

#5 Communications Best Practice

#6 Regulatory Liaison – DWP, TPR & FCA etc.

#7 Rationale for Decision-Making

#8 Researching the Barriers to Transparency

#9 Asset Holdings Issues

#10 Terms & Conditions Issues

#11 Environmental, Social & Governance Issues

#12 Irresponsible & Unsustainable Investing Issues

#13 Voting Behaviour Issues

#14 Remuneration Issues

#15 Interoperability – a macro view of all the transparency activity & regulatory efforts around the world

#16 Developing a Voluntary Code – The Ten Tenets of Transparency

#17 Developing a 5 Year Mission: 20:20 by 2020

#18 Developing a Transparency Model