IRELAND - The Pensions Board is considering issuing best practice guidance for trustees, to address a lack of knowledge and potential unwillingness to take on responsibilities.
Speaking at the Information Management Network’s UK and Irish Pension and Investing Summit, Brendan Kennedy, chief executive of the Pensions Board, said although the Pensions Board strongly supported the trustee model there were issues to be faced.
He said: “In general, we believe that trustees need more support. There are a number of initiatives the board itself is taking, and there are a number of other areas in which we would like to see developments.”
Kennedy said in addition to developing web based learning materials for trustees, which will be rolled out in 2008, the Pensions Board was also examining the question of best practice guidance.
He said: “Trust law, being principle based, may not give detailed guidance in specific circumstances, which can be particularly challenging for those who may be relatively inexperienced. We are looking at not just providing information to trustees about their obligations, but also giving suggesting about how to set about meeting those obligations.”
Kennedy said the board also wanted to see more support for trustees from employers. He said when considering the total cost of pension scheme provision, the cost training and other support was small.
He added that the regulation of pensions administrators would provide significant support and comfort to pension trustees, and said the board would also like to see further development of multi-employer trusts.
A buyout tool which provides schemes with up-to-date pricing and comparisons between insurers has been launched by JLT Employee Benefits.
The DB white paper sets out plans to review the funding regime, with 'prudent' and 'appropriate' possibly redefined. But James Phillips asks if this could this signal a return to an MFR-like approach?
The trustees of GKN's pension schemes have agreed a package of mitigation measures that would improve funding to a "more prudent level" if Melrose's offer is accepted by shareholders next week.
While the new powers are welcome, most respondents doubt it will make a difference to the outcomes for members, Pensions Buzz respondents say.