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.”
Railways Pension Trustee Company chief executive Phil Willcock has quit the scheme after only 10 months to take up a position as head of AIG UK Life.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has launched a consultation on how to enable defined contribution (DC) savers to invest in patient capital via unit-linked funds.
The Pension Protection Fund has published its final levy rules for 2019/20 following a consultation launched in September.
The Competition and Markets Authority's (CMA) final report on the investment consultant market has been celebrated as having "real teeth" to produce better outcomes for members.