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Eversheds Sutherland: call for a professional body to set standards and monitor performance made by over 70% of professional trustees

  • United Kingdom
  • Global

    08-11-2017

    A recent survey of professional trustees conducted by Eversheds Sutherland, has overwhelmingly concluded (71%) that a professional body is now required to set standards and oversee the performance of professional trustees.

    This echoes the Pensions Regulator’s expectations for higher standards from professional trustees (see the Regulator’s Professional trustee description policy and Monetary penalties policy).

    Commenting on the results, Sarah Swift, pensions Partner at Eversheds Sutherland, said:

    “These results show widespread support for greater oversight of professional trustees. This is in line with the strong emphasis on good governance from the Pensions Regulator and its expectations as to the role that professional trustees have to play in ensuring this.”

    However, despite this finding, only 38% of respondents thought that professional trustees should be required to have a professional qualification. When asked about trustee training more generally, 1 in 6 respondents felt that the trustee boards on which they sit do not undertake sufficient training (when viewed as a whole) to fulfil their role effectively.

    Sarah Swift, continued:

    “The role played by professional trustees is extremely important with more and more schemes relying upon them. Professional trustees can contribute a significant amount in terms of expertise and experience to a trustee board and it is crucial that schemes and employers can have confidence in any professional trustee that they appoint.

    “Work is underway to develop standards and accreditation for professional trustees through the Professional Trustee Standards Working Group (PTSWG). This is an important development.

    “However, it should also be remembered that a professional trustee is normally just one of many trustees on a trustee board and their influence on the board will inevitably vary from scheme to scheme. Therefore, it is essential that all trustees are in a position to perform their role effectively.”

    Disclaimer

    This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full terms and conditions on our website.

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