UK Pension Boards Lack Diversity

The results of The Pensions Regulator’s (TPR) first trustee diversity and inclusion survey have highlighted a strong lack of diversity across UK pension boards, with the typical trustee being described as a “white man over 45”. The majority of the 2,197 surveyed trustees nonetheless displayed ambition to improve the diversity of pension boards, with 78% saying a diverse board was important. Eighty-four percent said that diverse and inclusive pension boards contributed to good decision-making, good governance (83%), and good member outcomes (85%). Additionally, most trustee boards had diversity across skills (82%), life experience (74%), professional background (73%), cognitive diversity (73%), and education (61%). “Growing evidence shows diverse and inclusive boards make more effective decisions, which is key to good governance and improving saver outcomes,” said Louise Davey, TPR’s Interim Director of Regulatory Policy, Analysis and Advice. “While the profile of the ‘typical’ trustee is unlikely to be a surprise, this survey has supplied important baseline data we can use to measure progress towards more diverse and inclusive scheme boards. We want trustees to think about diversity more widely than just through visible characteristics and consider their boards’ skills, life experience and cognitive diversity as well.”

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