GUEST COMMENT: Trustee expectations

Written by Andrew Warwick-Thompson, executive director for regulatory policy, TPR

As part of our 21st Century Trustee initiative, we have clarified our expectations by publishing a revised description of a professional trustee for consultation.

The consultation on our draft monetary penalties policy will run from 23 March for six weeks. Our trustee initiative seeks to raise standards of governance and administration to protect member benefits by being clearer about what we expect trustees to do, and being swifter to take action where standards are not met.

In response to our 21st Century Trustee Discussion Paper and conversations with the industry, trustees asked us to be clear about which trustees would be held to higher standards and how that applied to the fines that may be levied on them.

Professional trustees have a higher duty of care to members and we will be looking at how this higher standard can be made clearer. We consider a professional trustee to include any person, whether or not incorporated, who: acts as a trustee of the scheme in the course of the business of being a trustee or is an expert, or holds themselves out as an expert, in trustee matters generally.

Our 21st Century Trustee strategy is key to meeting our regulatory objectives. Good governance is essential to pension schemes delivering good member outcomes. This is why we and the industry support improving standards of trusteeship. We will announce further parts of the package and future plans in the coming weeks.

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