It is timely to remind Trustees of the guidance produced by the Pensions Regulator which took effect from April 2015, ‘the essential guide to governance standards and charge controls’.
If your scheme’s accounting year end is on or after 6 July 2015 and your occupational pension scheme provides money purchase benefits you will have to take the following action:
• You will have to include, as part of the Trustee’s report, an annual statement on governance which is to be signed by the Chair of Trustees.
• If you don’t currently have a Chair of Trustees you will need to appoint one by 6 July 2015 and inform the Pensions Regulator via the Exchange system.
• You will have to declare that you have complied with this requirement via the annual Scheme Return.
The Chair’s statement will confirm how the scheme is meeting the new governance standards. For more information on the governance standards please refer to a previous blog by Michael Crowe . The first Chair’s statement should cover the period from 6 April 2015 and then an annual statement should be produced thereafter.
The Pensions Regulator has stated that Trustees who do not comply will be fined between £500 and £2,000*.
There are schemes which are exempt from the requirements, most notably schemes where no money purchase benefits are provided other than additional voluntary contributions.