A. Being a trustee involves quite a lot of responsibility but don’t panic; it’s unlikely you will have to do this on your own because there will be other trustees in your trustee group. Trustees tend to delegate the day-to-day running of their pension schemes to experts. For example, administrators, actuaries, insurance companies, investment management firms, communication specialists, accountants, auditors and legal advisers. Frequently it’s the Pension Manager or Scheme Secretary who will co-ordinate activity.
There are some rules about what you have to know and understand. For example, trustees of pension schemes sponsored by an employer must have appropriate knowledge and understanding of the law relating to pensions, trust and the investment of scheme assets so that they can do their job properly. They also need to be conversant with the documents which govern their scheme, for example, the trust deed and rules and their Statement of Investment principles.
Trustees of defined benefit schemes need additional knowledge and understanding about the principles which determine the funding of their scheme.
As a trustee it’s important to find out what’s in your trust deed and rules (and trustees should have their own copy of the scheme’s trust deed and rules) and to become familiar with what you other scheme documents cover. You could start by sourcing the information in your scheme booklet to the trust deed and rules. Also don’t forget to talk to the Chairman of your trustees and anyone who has been a trustee for a long time as they will know the history and experience of your scheme.
There is also a lot of help available externally. The first thing to do as a trustee is to make sure you get some training. Your pension scheme might arrange this for you. You can also have a look at the range of courses for trustees offered by the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Academy, and the information, tools and Trustee Toolkit offered by The Pensions Regulator.
Q What services and guidance does the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association provide for trustees?
- Trustee PensionsConnection - Trustee PensionsConnection is an Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association service dedicated to helping you as a pension scheme trustee carry out your role as a guardian of a retirement fund. More details here.
- Trustee training - Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association has an excellent tradition of supporting the training needs of pension fund trustees. Our Pensions and Lifetime Savings Academy has a dedicated trustee faculty offering a range of trustee learning opportunities. More details here.
- Training - The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Academy provides a range of courses for trustees, details of which can be found here.
- Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association Trustee conference - This popular one day event usually opens for booking in September. Details can be found here.
- Trustee Learning Zone - Taking place at both our Annual Conference & Exhibition and our Investment Conference: book your place early as this workshop often sells out. Details of our upcoming conferences can be found here.
- Trustee PensionsConnection events - our PensionsConnection service hosts events for trustees throughout the year, more details here.
- Hot topic seminars - an opportunity to hear from and question experts, taking place throughout the year. Details of upcoming seminars can be found here.
A. The Pensions Regulator provides many useful online resources for trustees.