Law Commission review of Fiduciary Duties of Investment Intermediaries an NAPF preliminary Response
The Law Commission project looks at the investment market through the lens of pensions. The Commission looks at how far fiduciary duties require trustees to maximise financial return over a short time scale, and how far trustees can consider other factors, such as environmental and social impact. In addition, it looks at contract-based pensions and others in the chain where fiduciary duties are much less certain.
We believe that the debate concerning fiduciary duty engendered by the Kay report is helpful inasmuch as it may clear the air about the role of fiduciary concepts in pension scheme management.
We are of the view that the fiduciary duties of trustees of pension plans are reasonably clearly understood and there is sufficient scope under current law as currently understood for trustees to take a longer term view.
In addition, we believe that much of the apprehension concerning contract-based schemes could be addressed more directly through clear standards of conduct applicable to employers and providers in those areas in which they exercise discretion.