TPR unveils professional trustee definition

Individuals and organisations holding themselves out to multiple schemes as having general expertise in trustee matters will be deemed to be professional trustees and liable for higher penalties in enforcement action, The Pensions Regulator has said.

Publishing new rules on the definition of a professional trustee today, TPR says someone will normally be considered a professional trustee if they have represented themselves to one or more unrelated schemes as having expertise in trustee matters generally. The

The new description paves the way to build standards and accreditation for professional trustees through the Professional Trustee Standards Working Group (PTSWG), which has been established by the industry’s professional trustee bodies. The group is developing higher standards for those who are considered to be professional trustees.

Stakeholders were consulted on TPR’s proposed approach earlier this year. The consultation also included a request for views on the way TPR imposes monetary penalties.

Today TPR has published its professional trustee description policy, which explains its revised description and gives examples of when it may consider someone to be a professional trustee.

TPR acting executive director for regulatory policy Anthony Raymond says: “It is vital that trustees have the right skills to ensure that their pension scheme is managed effectively but it is also right that they are held to account if they fail to provide proper governance.

“Professional trustees bring real benefits to a board through their expertise and experience, sharing knowledge and good practice from other schemes.

“Our role is to protect members’ benefits and the policy sets out who we will consider to be a professional trustee and hold to a higher standard.

“We want to see good quality professional trustees who improve the governance of pension schemes and the standards developed through the PTSWG will help employers and trustees know what to look for when appointing a professional trustee.”