Decisions to be made; meetings to attend; advisors to review; returns to be completed; a year in the life of a Trustee is never dull but always challenging.
2012 has been no different and if anything the pace has somewhat increased.
January – communicating with pension scheme members has never been more important and an article regarding how public sector employees feel “robbed of their pension” shows how the member perceives their pension as opposed to others views of “the gold plated public sector pension”. Opposite ends of the spectrum but improved communication may improve both points of view.
February – we were very pleased to be the first UK professional trustee firm to complete ISO/EIC 27001, an internationally recognised standard for Information Security Management.
March – Trade unions lost their court action against the government on the decision to switch the basis for calculating future pension increases from RPI to CPI. It’s safe to say that opinions remain divided on the rights and wrongs of this issue, but at least the court decision provided some certainty.
April – a guest blog written by John Heatly highlighted how a trustee works with administrators and the challenges that have to be overcome. A common sense approach is the best way forward but perhaps overreliance or hiding behind the dreaded SLA’s is the approach that trustees have to overcome.
May – Our own Claire McGruer was nominated as Trustee of the year by Engaged Investor Magazine.
July – A UK pensions survey found that only 25% of private sector employees are members of an occupational pension scheme – a worrying statistic. Will auto-enrolment turn the tide? Only time will tell.
In August, the Pensions Administration Standards Association (PASA) jumped back into the forefront of trustees’ minds by announcing that they were pushing ahead with their concept of a “kitemark” for administrators. Much work to be done but a great potential way forward and will help guide trustees in the future to the right administrator.
September saw the PPF issue a new levy framework document that included a guide on how the levy is calculated. Trustees need to be familiar with this issue and be prepared to look at ways on how their levy could be reduced
In November the regulator stepped into the fray of GMP reconciliation by announcing that a £2 tolerance should be used to try and reduce the time this process takes. There was nothing particularly startling in this as most Trustees have a view on tolerances anyway. However, this maybe just helps reinforce the message that GMP reconciliations need to be tackled.
And finally December finds the data deadline is looming for administrators and Trustees should certainly know where they are with their schemes (and hopefully not just assuming all is well)?