UK - The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has published a consultation document on guidance relating to conflicts of interest.
TPR said conflicts could inhibit open discussions or result in decisions, actions or inactions that were not in the best interests of the beneficiaries.
Conflicts of interest might affect not only trustees but also professional advisers and pensions managers involved in running the scheme, TPR added. The guidance therefore also covered these types of conflict.
Tony Hobman, chief executive, TPR, said: "We recognise that many conflicts are inherent by their very nature. The key is managing conflicts appropriately, and to do this there must be a culture of openness.
"In some circumstances where there are acute conflicts these may need to be avoided entirely. Trustees should regularly assess policies and procedures they have in place to make sure they are well prepared to identify and handle conflicts as they arise."
Responses to the consultation should be submitted by 30 May 2008.
This announcement follows last week's announcement that TPR was to get greater powers in the emerging pension buyout market, making it easier to install independent trustees should it consider the interests of scheme members were at risk.
The changes were pushed through by Mike O'Brien, minister for pensions reform, in a late-night amendment to the Pensions Act last Tuesday.
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