Trustee effectiveness

An increasing area of focus is to assess the effectiveness of the trustee board in its decision-making and the value of the support provided by advisers in that decision-making process. Traditional tools such as questionnaires or annual interviews with individual trustees do not always provide the necessary evidence. Specific issues that clients have been grappling with include:

  • too much reliance on a small subset of the trustee board due to knowledge and experience
  • trustees who do not have sufficient understanding of technical aspects to be able to engage in and challenge decisions
  • meetings not being well run and meeting papers being late or with the wrong level of detail
  • advisers who do not provide the right level of support in meetings.

We can provide support in a range of different ways and, as we do not provide wider services to trustees, we can provide a truly objective perspective.

A number of our clients are now using online technology at the end of meetings to evaluate the trustees’ assessment of the decision-making that took place and a trustee’s personal understanding of the issues.

The quality of the advisory support, including papers prepared in advance, can also be rated. Trustees can provide their comments on an anonymous basis, if this will lead to more open feedback.

The output is available in real time and any significant issues can be discussed at the end of the meeting. Trends in this feedback over time can help identify which topics the trustees find most challenging and inform future training needs.

22 January 2021

In the news over the last week, the Pension Schemes Bill is at the final hurdle, automatic enrolment limits are reviewed, there is new research into trustee decision-making, the FCA sees signs of improvement in DB transfer advice and a full buy-in is completed.

Pensions Arena October 2020

This quarter’s Arena has a summary of our recent Pensions Perspective, “Endgame planning comes of age”, which looked at how long-term funding and investment plans are evolving and why companies are increasingly taking the lead in designing an endgame strategy. It also shows all the usual financial and investment analysis for the quarter ending 30 September 2020.

Endgame planning

Journey plans or glide paths may have been around for a long time but they’re at the heart of the Regulator’s proposed new funding code. In this Pensions Perspective, Leonard Bowman looks at how long-term funding and investment plans are evolving and explains why companies are increasingly taking the lead in designing an endgame strategy for their schemes.

Pensions Arena July 2020

This quarter’s Arena has a summary of our recent Pensions Perspective, “Emerging from lockdown”, which looked at how best to tackle the most common pension issues which companies are currently facing. It also shows all the usual financial and investment analysis for the quarter ending 30 June 2020.

Emerging from lockdown

As we keep hearing, we are living in unprecedented times. However, as we turn our attention to the future, what does the “new normal” mean for defined benefit pension schemes? In this Pensions Perspective, Leonard Bowman considers the most common pension issues that companies are facing and how best to ensure that the company approaches these on the front foot.