PMI calls for mandatory professional trustee accreditation

The Pensions Management Institute (PMI) has said that mandatory accreditation for professional trustees should be introduced within the next five years.

The call has come in response to The Pensions Regulator’s consultation on the future of trusteeship and governance.

The PMI has also suggested that tougher regulations are needed to require a sole trustee to be registered as a company, rather than an individual, while all professional trustees should be generally held to higher levels of professionalism and training.

PMI president, Lesley Carline, said that it has never been more important for professional trustees to be equipped with all the necessary skills and tools, in order to do their jobs to the best of their ability.

“While it will take time for the industry to adapt, we would like see to the mandatory accreditation of professional trustees within five years,” she said. “As industry professionals, it is within all of our interests to strive for improved governance standards and drive better outcomes for members.”

As part of its research, the PMI has also uncovered strong support for its proposals, with almost two thirds of respondents expressing support for accreditation in a recent survey.

The same study shows that 89 per cent of PMI members believe that the regulator should set higher expectations of trustee knowledge and understanding for professional trustees, while 69 per cent think that there should be legislative change to introduce a minimum level of ongoing learning for all trustees, such as CPD-style training.

The PMI has also discovered that 82 per cent of PMI members think that governance standards for sole trustees should be strengthened through new regulations, such as requiring two or more trustees to attend trustee meetings.

In addition, 58 per cent think that trustee directors of firms providing sole trusteeship services should be required to demonstrate higher professional standards than those of other professional trustees.

Another 43 per cent said that it should be mandatory for there to be a professional trustee at every trustee board meeting.

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