Support tools for trustees launched as new pensions General Code comes into force

28 March 2024

As the new Pension Code of Practice (the ‘General Code’) officially comes into force, RSM UK says trustees must now look further than gap analysis, and consider whether their risk management function satisfies the requirements for their first Own Risk Assessment (ORA). RSM UK is concerned once gap analysis is completed, trustees may develop a false sense of assurance, when further work is required. 

In a poll of 40 pension trustees conducted at a recent RSM event, over half (55%) admitted they still rely on spreadsheets to record and manage their risks and controls. 

Karen Tasker, pensions audit partner at RSM UK, comments: 'The General Code now specifies governing bodies must establish and operate an effective system of governance, including internal controls. But from our experience, some pensions trustees are still relying on spreadsheets to manage risk. This creates a cumbersome process which is disconnected from driving scheme strategy. It is also open to human error, may not be secure, and requires on-going administration. Risk registers often fail to state whether risk controls are tested on a regular basis to ensure they are effective. It is this essential detail that determines whether a scheme is operating effectively.'

In response to the requirements, RSM UK has introduced a new suite of software tools, designed to support trustees in managing the administrative burden of the General Code. Enabling the ESOG elements to be considered in unison with the risk management function.

The new tools, called Insight4Pensions, sit on the existing Insight4GRC software platform, already used by many leading private, public and third sector organisations, from local councils to PLCs. 

Pensions software tool features

Interactive dashboard reports

Dashboards provide instant oversight across the scheme on the risks, controls, assurance and provide actions attributable to them.

Full assurance mapping

Allows managers to prompt the control owners to review the effectiveness of controls based on what the sources of assurance are telling them.

Documentation management

Acts as a central library for key scheme policies, and other governance related documentation, enabling the review dates to be monitored, and the documentation to be accessed and linked through to the ESOG and risk reporting.

Dedicated support desk

Alongside on-going access to the Insight4Pensions advisory team, RSM’s UK-based support team are on hand five days a week to provide support

Robert Arnold, Member Nominated Director of the Network Rail DC & CARE Pension Schemes comments: 'Implementing the platform has been a great experience, from the transition to software, through to the additional training provided to the trustee board. It has really added value, as we are now able to consider the risks in real time and report to the board using the interactive dashboard. I really enjoyed working with the RSM team and I felt they were supportive throughout. They are experts in their field.'


New General Code Changes Benefits of Insight4Pensions
New requirements for a risk management function

Provides trustees with a complete visual of their Scheme’s risks and controls, enabling them to manage the General Code requirements in a secure environment, freeing up precious resource. 

Insight4Pensions enables trustees, scheme management and advisers to work collaboratively in real time, in or outside of trustee meetings.

New ESOG requirement Reduces the ever-growing administration burden by effectively linking gaps in the ESOG requirements to the risk register and the key policy documentation on one platform enabling efficient, informative, interactive reporting within a secure environment.
New Own Risk Assessment (ORA) requirements Provides trustees, at any point in time, with an interactive visual of their ORA together with evidence-based narrative for a smooth sign off by the chair to meet the signing-off requirement.
Importance of internal controls highlighted Provides oversight on areas of weakness with interactive assurance mapping facilities, together with constant tracking and monitoring of actions that have been identified to improve controls. 

Provides a full audit trail of all amendments and movements across the platform.
New Policy documentation requirements Insight4Pensions incorporates key scheme documents and policies within the same platform, linking progress and review procedures alongside the ESOG, reducing duplication and enhancing monitoring of key documents to ensure that they are within their review dates. 

The software also provides automatic email notifications and reminders and records their acceptance for evidencing stewardship.