A group of industry bodies have come together with the aim of establishing a set of universally recognised Fit and Proper Protocols to be met by professional trustees.
The group forms as TPR publishes research that shows 33 per cent of schemes do not set minimum credentials for professional trustees and 46 per cent do not set minimum hours of trustee training.
The newly created Professional Trustee Standards Working Group is chaired by Andrew Bradshaw, Association of Professional Pension Trustees (APPT) council member and Ross Trustees Director, and comprises representatives from The Pensions Regulator (TPR), APPT, The Association of Corporate Trustees (TACT), the Pensions Management Institute (PMI) and the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA).
The group has been created following a recommendation by TPR, that the trustee bodies across the pension industry come together to lead the way in setting standards that professional trustees are expected to meet.
The Fit and Proper Protocols will cover competencies, experience and professionalism, with different requirements for chairs, non-chairs and sole trusteeships.
The group will consult with members of the profession before the protocols are adopted. Professional trustees will be encouraged by The Pensions Regulator to adhere to the Protocols.
Andrew Bradshaw, APPT Council Member and Ross Trustees Director says: “The group is committed to ensuring the highest standards of behaviour amongst the professional trustee
community. Establishing a set of industry wide Fit and Proper Protocols which are endorsed by the Pensions Regulator will be a significant step forward. I am pleased to confirm that the group is up and running and we hope to make significant progress over the coming months.”
TPR chief executive Lesley Titcomb says: “We know from our 21st Century Trustee research that professional trustees on pension boards have a positive effect on governance and administration. We want to see trustees who are a knowledgeable, empowered first line of defence for pension scheme members. Our survey, published today, shows professional trustees have an influence on many thousands of schemes. We look forward to working with the industry group to produce clear, succinct standards and accreditation for professional trustees, helping employers and schemes to engage high-quality professionals and deliver good outcomes for members.”