UK - JLT Benefit Solutions (JLT) has teamed up with the Pensions Management Institute for a joint research initiative investigating the relationship between pension scheme administration and effective scheme governance.

The 12-month project will comprise a number of activities including mini surveys of PMI members, JLT clients and the wider market to examine the role of effective systems and technology in improving scheme governance.

The initiative follows an increased focus by the Pensions Regulator on scheme governance, administration and record keeping, with the regulator publishing new guidance for trustees that sets a 2012 deadline for improving scheme data. (See earlier IPE article: UK regulator sets 2012 deadline for record-keeping improvements)

Vince Linnane, chief executive of the PMI, said: "The vital role performed by pensions administrators has long been recognised by the PMI and we are delighted to be partnering with JLT on this important research initiative. We are entering a time when - with the move towards defined contribution pensions - people are going to rely on the quality of work undertaken by their scheme's administrators now more than ever before."

The PMI and JLT claimed the issue is a major consideration for all UK pension schemes and of increasing importance as schemes look to control risk and operate in a rapidly changing pensions environment.

Malcolm Reynolds, head of trustee solutions at JLT, said: "We want to provide trustees and scheme sponsors with a fresh look at pension scheme administration and, in particular, the key role effective systems and technology can play in ensuring the effective governance of all kinds of pension schemes."

The latest initiative also follows confirmation last week that TPR is looking for at least three companies or individuals for a two-year contract providing advice on record keeping and scheme governance for both defined contribution (DC) and defined benefit (DB) schemes. (See earlier IPE article: UK Pensions Regulator tenders offers for administration, governance)