UK - The government has criticised trustees for failing to get to grips with principles set out in the Myners Report.
The first stage of the department for work and pensions’ review cites a “lack of progress” over corporate governance best practice.
The DWP – which analysed how 14 occupational pension schemes had changed their practices and procedures – said:• Trustee boards had made “less progress” than expected towards effective decision-making, shareholder activism, socially responsible investment, transparency and timescales for assessing the performance of investment managers.• While initial training for new trustees was provided by most schemes, only a minority provided ongoing training. • Trustee boards relied heavily on investment consultants and contracts tended to be based on trust rather than formal performance assessment.
Larger schemes – with 1000 members or more – were found to be most compliant and those with “significant funds” under management had “more clout” when setting scheme-specific investment policies.
Public sector schemes were found to be the most advanced in implementing “best practice” with a “more pro-compliance culture”. They also had extra resources available to trustee boards and more “activist” trustees.
The DWP findings are the first “qualitative” part of the study. The second section – a quantitative survey – will be released early next year.
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