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.

25 September 2020

In the news this week, the CMI asks for industry views on how to allow for 2020’s mortality experience, the DWP launches a small pots working group, the autumn Budget is abandoned but the Chancellor announces new measures to help businesses, the Barclays scheme subscribes to a Barclays bond and there is another repeat buy-in.

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.

Getting buyout ready

Covid-19 has created many challenges for DB schemes but, for those ready to transact in 2020, it may have created even more favourable market conditions for a buyout. The problem is that most schemes are not there yet. In this Briefing we look at what being “deal ready” actually means and what work it will involve.