UK - Trade union Amicus is lobbying MPs to increase the number of member-nominated trustees on occupational scheme boards from 33% to 50%.
Amicus, the UK’s largest trade union, has held talks with work and pensions secretary Andrew Smith and Labour MPs over amending the Pensions Bill to give fairer representation to members. The union says the amendment – which could be added through the standing committee stage – will increase members’ scheme confidence.
Pensions policy officer Bryan Freake said the move would reduce the “unfair” practice of company finance directors becoming trustees and making decisions that are in the best interests of the company rather than scheme members.
“It will boost member confidence in schemes and reflect their democratic right to control their pensions. It’s time members got an equal say in these decisions,” he said.
Occupational Pensioners’ Alliance chairman Brian Marks agreed but believes the process for their appointment must be made more “fair and open”.
He said: “Current legislation calls for trustees to ask members who they would like to nominate, and while they consider this. We want a formal election process and also no restriction on who can be elected as a trustee.”
An amendment was put forward during the standing committee last month but failed to be pushed to a vote.
Parliamentary undersecretary for the department for work and pensions Chris Pond said: “If we were to leave the regulator to deal with all that in a code of practice, we would be back where we are now – with reams of detailed and prescriptive procedures.”
The top stories this week were the High Court's decision to block the £12bn annuity transfer from Prudential to Rothesay Life, and a separate court ruling that 'raises the bar' for pension rectification exercises.
Guaranteed minimum pension (GMP) equalisation has soared to the top of pension schemes' to-do lists, with 58% stating it is a priority project, research from Equiniti has revealed.
Professional Pensions is holding its defined contribution (DC) conference on 4 September.