UK - The government has agreed to take "belt and braces action" to ensure trustees are aware of their responsibilities when a scheme is being wound up.
The House of Lords heard that tests will be carried out for at least a year when any final salary scheme goes into wind-up to ensure there is no evidence of fraud and ascertain whether it can fall into the Pension Protection Fund.
Conservative work and pensions spokesman Lord Higgins said trustees needed to be aware of their responsibilities during this time to avoid being sued by members or employers in years to come.
“If we are going to go through all of this, it has to be very clear that the board will have to tell the trustees what their responsibilities are. It is going to be a nightmare,” he said.
“Some boards of trustees are extremely confident and expert, but very often there are boards of trustees where some members are not the least bit clear about what their liabilities would be if they got it wrong.”
Pensions minister Baroness Hollis assured the grand committee that trustees would be well informed.
“Guidance will be given to trustees when a scheme enters the assessment period. So we will be taking belt and braces action to ensure that trustees know where their responsibilities begin and end and what the PPF’s proper view is.
“We are just anxious to ensure that, by going into the assessment period, there is no risk that those people will lose their money due to an ambiguity or a gap between the trusteesí responsibility ending and the PPF taking over.”
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