After listening to the views of the pensions industry, The Pensions Regulator has revised its description of who it considers to be a professional trustee after setting out how it intends to use its powers and impose monetary penalties. This is part of the The Pension Regulators drive to improve the standards of governance and trusteeship which are the key foundations of achieving good outcomes for pension scheme members.
This new description will now pave the way for the eventual building of standards and accreditation for professional pension trustees through the Professional Trustee Standards Working Group (PTSWG). This has been established by the pension industry's professional trust bodies and aims to develop higher standards for those who are considered to be professional trustees. A person will normally be considered a professional trustee if they have represented themselves to one or more unrelated schemes as having expertise in trustee matters generally. Professional trustees are likely to be given higher penalties under the penalties policy.
Anthony Raymond, TPR's Acting Executive Director for Regulatory Policy, said:
"It is vital that trustees have the right skills to ensure that their pension scheme is managed effectively but it is also right that they are held to account if they fail to provide proper governance. Professional trustees bring real benefits to a board through their expertise and experience, sharing knowledge and good practice from other schemes."
"Our role is to protect members' benefits and the policy sets out who we will consider to be a professional trustee and hold to a higher standard. We want to see good quality professional trustees who improve the governance of pension schemes and the standards developed through the PTSWG will help employers and trustees know what to look for when appointing a professional trustee"