Earlier this year Engaged Investor published their annual Independent Trustee Survey, sponsored by F&C Investments. Over 100 independent Trustees gave their views on a range of issue facing the pensions world.
Below, we have reproduced some of the statistics for easy reading but the one fact that stands out from the rest is that lay trustees are really struggling to come to grips with the changing legislative landscape that faces them, knowledge requirements and calls upon their time which their role entails.
Will this get better over the coming years or worse? A question not asked but the answer is in my opinion yes. Pensions legislation has never historically been simplified. Anyone who remembers the “Simplification” of Inland Revenue limits will attest to that. Without doubt demands placed on all Trustees will increase and there is no sign of this government calling a halt to changes in legislation and as each year rolls on pensions continue to evolve and change at an alarming pace.
Professional Trustees must work hard to keep up and to make sure that their pensions schemes be they defined benefit, contribution or ambition meet legislative requirements, are clearly communicated to members, and benefits provided by them are protected. It is now more important than ever for Lay Trustees to surround themselves with a proficient team of pension advisors; or I am afraid they will trail behind despite their very best efforts, and in many cases dedication to the cause.