Why appoint a professional trustee?
20 April 2022
As the trustee’s role has become ever more complex and demanding, pension schemes are increasingly looking for help with scheme governance and the other pressing issues they face.
This has lead to more schemes appointing professional independent trustees.
A good professional trustee:
- Will help to manage and mitigate the conflicts of interest that arise, for example, during negotiations over funding or the future of the scheme
- Does not have to demonstrate their independence through their actions as they are, by definition, independent. This often gives them more latitude to be pragmatic during, for example, funding negotiations
- Can replace employer-nominated trustees in corporate projects or discussions where they may be conflicted
- Will be familiar with the sensitivities of The Pensions Regulator, making it less likely that any outcome is rejected
- Can act as a ‘buffer’ between the employer and the other trustees
- Can improve the efficiency of a trustee board – for example, by having expert-to-expert discussions with scheme advisers, focusing on best use of limited trustee time and resource, and managing adherence to agendas and key priorities.
- Can assist co-trustees in acquiring and maintaining the knowledge and understanding requirements of the Pensions Act 2004
- Will provide added reassurance to the scheme’s members, and practical experience and technical knowledge
- Will ensure the most efficient use of the scheme’s advisers, focusing their input to achieve value for money and best advice
- Can provide continuity of governance
- Where appointed as sole trustee, remove the need to appoint member-nominated trustees.
If appointed to your scheme, we will:
- Assume as much of the governance workload as required
- Bring extensive expertise and experience to the trustee board
- Facilitate a positive working relationship between the trustees and the sponsor
- Constructively engage and challenge the scheme’s advisers
- Enhance decision making, budgeting and time trustee board time management.