The PLSA’s popular sessions will stand any trustee in good stead, says Kate Hadley.
If you are a pension scheme trustee you’re doing a remarkable job. You’re playing an important, complex and rewarding role in protecting the retirement livelihoods of millions of people in the UK. Whether you’re an experienced trustee or new to the position, it’s vital to keep up to speed with the changing regulations and fulfil your fiduciary duties, and the PLSA’s popular trustee training can help you do just that.
Our mission at the PLSA is to help everyone achieve a better income in retirement, and ensuring those who oversee the nation’s pension schemes are the best they can be is an important part of this. As a not-for-profit trade association we are independent, unbiased, expert in delivering events and training, and have a team of policy experts at the forefront of the latest developments in pensions.
It’s a testament to the dedication of our members that, despite the pandemic, people have kept up with their training, with the PLSA running Trusteeship parts 1 and 2 online three times over the course of the year. The digital courses included everything trustees have come to expect from our face-to-face sessions, just with a digital twist. But for 2022 we are looking forward to returning to in-person training as soon as it’s safe and practical to do so – watch this space!
How the training works
There are three trustee training sessions to choose from, depending on experience, although they all also work well as a refresher for any trustee.
Trusteeship part 1 is aimed at individuals with 0-12 months’ experience, and teaches the theory behind being a trustee. The training provides the foundations for parts 2 and 3, and any other CPD undertaken.
Our expert trainers guide participants through how pension schemes work, what is expected of the role and how to apply good scheme governance – bringing to life TPR’s Trustee Knowledge and Understanding requirements. Aimed mainly at trustees of DB pension schemes, the course contains parts that are also relevant to DC trustees.
For trustees keen to go further, the natural next step is our Trusteeship part 2 course, where participants with some experience can put the theory into practice. Trustees will take part in boardroom simulations, learning how to approach the issues they will face in the role. This course includes topics such as the protocol and mechanics of decision-making, investment decisions, communications, good employer relationships, delegates and advisers, governance, and – importantly – how to cope when things go wrong.
Trusteeship part 3: the expert is designed for trustees with two to three years’ experience, who are familiar with the basic principles of trusteeship and accustomed to attending trustee meetings, but are keen to hone their skills and improve their effectiveness as a trustee.
In this course trustees will practise incident response, managing investment risks, dealing with mistakes, exercising complex discretions, and working as a team to agree negotiation strategy.
All our training is highly interactive and includes group discussions, case studies, breakout sessions and polls, as well as time to ask any questions of our experienced trainers.
The PLSA’s Trusteeship training is designed to stand you in good stead for whatever the role of trustee throws at you. And with new challenges arising all the time – whether that’s the DB funding code, climate change risk, or cyber security – our training should give you a strong base upon which to build. As Benjamin Franklin famously said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest”.
If you or a trustee of your scheme are interested in the PLSA’s training courses, visit the trustee training section of our website for more details and dates.