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General principles for member communications

General code in force: 28 March 2024

This module forms part of our expectations for trustees of those schemes required to operate an effective system of governance, see Systems of governance.

  1. This module covers the main principles governing bodies should apply when meeting their legal obligations to communicate with members.
  2. The law details when governing bodies must communicate with their members, the information they must provide and the timescales for providing the information. These requirements range from information provided when a member joins the scheme, ongoing communications, taking benefits, and beyond1.
  3. When preparing communications to members, governing bodies should:
    1. ensure that all communications sent to members are accurate, clear, concise, relevant and in plain English (see our Communicating and reporting guide)
    2. regularly review member communications, taking account of member feedback, any changes to scheme design and developments in law and this code of practice
    3. when deciding on the format of communications and information to be published, consider any technology that may be available to them and appropriate for their members
    4. consider using various communication methods, including accessible online content, audio, Braille, large font, and languages other than English
    5. consider what additional information or explanation members may need to help them make informed decisions about their benefits. For DC and hybrid schemes, regularly inform members of the impact their contributions will have on their overall benefits.

Legal references

1The Occupational and Personal Pension Schemes (Disclosure of Information) Regulations 2013 [The Occupational and Personal Pension Schemes (Disclosure of Information) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013] set out many, but not all, of the required communications for governing bodies