Guest Comment: Valuing volunteer trustees

'Once I retired from full time work I have never been so busy’. This is often said by retired people, myself included, and though I suspect it is somewhat of an exaggeration, it does reflect the fact that we find ourselves in demand to take up new opportunities.

One of my opportunities was to become a nominated trustee for my pension fund, a role I took on following an election.

Anecdotally there is a view that such volunteers are hard to find and there is a dearth of prospective member nominated trustees (MNT). A recent survey of its members by the Association of Member Nominated Trustees revealed that 46 per cent of those responding stated that it is becoming more difficult to find members to act as trustees.

However drilling down these figures revealed that the difficulty was not in finding MNTs but company-nominated trustees. The primary reasons given were insufficient time for training and time allowed off by the employer.

Juggling the demands of a job and being a pension trustee is particularly challenging given the increased complexity of roles in the modern age. Companies’ value good workers by paying them accordingly; they also need to value pension trustee volunteers by providing time and training.

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