Guest comment: The future of trusteeship

In the wake of last year’s Mansion House initiative, the government issued a series of consultations. These included a call for evidence on the future of trusteeship.

One suggestion was the creation of a national register of pension scheme trustees.

Although Pensions Minister, Paul Maynard, has denied any clear plans for implementation
in the near future, it seems likely there will eventually be a national register.

This would allow The Pensions Regulator (TPR) to identify exactly how many individuals act as trustees in the UK, which has historically been impossible, and assess governance standards accurately.

Trustees could be required to provide evidence of compliance with Trustee Knowledge and Understanding (TKU) requirements and other statutory governance standards.

TPR would also establish the total number of professional trustees in the country, which would help it determine the importance of accreditation within the sector and provide an indication of how long it would take to achieve its stated objective of appointing a professional to every trustee board.

TPR would also be better placed to decide if the TKU standards in place since 2006 remain adequate.

Many would argue that a national register of trustees is overdue. Certainly, its implementation could act as a springboard for a succession of other reforms. If the overall consequence is an improvement in governance standards, this can only be a welcome development.

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