UK - Insolvency practitioners must be given access to OPRA's panel of approved trustees to safeguard schemes against charlatans and excessive fees during scheme wind-ups, warn industry experts.
Concern is mounting that the current relaxed system of unlicensed independent trustees is giving rise to inflated costs and unregulated candidates gaining positions beyond their qualifications.
Trustees and OPAS have both urged OPRA to impose a licence on all independent trustees. Eggar Trustees has already expressed fears that a flood of wind-ups over the next few years will attract the “wrong sort of people”.
OPAS chief executive Malcolm McLean said making OPRA’s panel available to insolvency practitioners would be consistent with Alan Pickering’s “new kind of regulator” proposal.
He said: “It would be an extension of OPRA’s role. The only other way is for the insolvency practitioner to get a grip on the situation, but I don’t think they would have the expertise to do it.
“There should be some greater control and/or monitoring of the work of these independent trustees, particularly in relation to the system for claiming and paying fees.”
R3 – a group which represents insolvency practitioners – spokesman Jonathan Birch said that even though the responsibility often falls to insolvency practitioners to appoint independent trustees, the onus for any regulation should fall to the pensions industry.
He added: “Whether it be a body or a structure for agreement, for monitoring the situation, it is something for the pensions industry to consider.”
Aon head of DC investment advisory Chris Inman explores the many uses of illiquid assets in pension portfolios.
This week's edition of Professional Pensions is out now.
NEST will work with RepRisk and Sustainalytics to identify emerging ESG risks and screen out certain assets from its members' portfolios, the master trust has announced.
PP's Pension Prophets panel - Roger Mattingly, Robin Ellison, Jennie Kreser and Malcolm McLean - will be speaking at PBUK on 25 June. Jonathan Stapleton asks them what's on their mind ahead of the event.