UK - The NAPF has launched a mediation service to resolve potential conflicts of interest that could arise between companies and their pension scheme trustees under new regulations.
Under the new Pension Regulator scheme funding regime, trustees have greater responsibility to scrutinise the funding of pension schemes but also the financial position of the sponsoring employer.
The Pensions Mediation Service has been launched in partnership with the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR).
According to the NAPF disputes could arise over such issues as the need to make changes to schemes where there is pressure on costs, the payment schedule for plugging deficits, and concerns over scheme administration.
“Certain trustees may have to take up issue within the employees finances but the requirement is on the trustees to do precisely that. I think this is one possible example of where there may be differences of opinion, ” a spokesman for the NAPF added.
Pension schemes mediation, the association stressed, does not provide a right or wrong decision on cases but is designed to enable both parties to continue a formal relationship.
“When conflicts arise trustees, scheme managers, advisors and employers will try to manage the problem or to limit a disagreement, yet this is not possible in every situation,” said Karl Mackie, the CEDR chief executive.
“Professional help through mediation and conflict management led by experts can help parties reach a satisfactory outcome in a timely and cost-effective manner.”
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