The UK occupational pensions market has never been particularly straightforward but it is now more complex than ever and the rate of change seems ever to be increasing.
Scheme sponsor and trustees face legislative pressure around compulsory pension provision and additional member flexibilities which have the potential to transmute a simple retirement proposition into a complex investment drawdown vehicle.
Current and proposed additions to the regulatory regime run the risk of making DB pensions even more expensive and less capital efficient and the regulators, quite rightly, are seeking to roll out higher standards of governance and training.
The investment markets are challenging at the moment and this is likely to continue. Quantitative easing and low interest rates have turned the tap on for borrowing and this ‘cheap money’ has flowed into investments making most asset classes expensive on any historical basis.
Both Employer and Member-nominated trustees bring something special to the table: the ENT with experience of corporate strategy and thinking, the MNT with deep knowledge of the needs and aspirations of the workforce and – often – the pensioner population. The Professional Trustee brings experience of the essence of what it means to be a trustee as well as knowledge and awareness of current and forthcoming challenges. Most working trustees – and their managers – give generously of their time in being away from the office day-job; for the professional trustee, pensions work is the day-job.
I am a professional trustee with a particular speciality in defined contribution and defined benefit governance, risk management and liability-based and general investment. I can also operate on an Investment Committee as a co-opted special adviser and provide project management and implementation capacity to corporate sponsors. If your scheme needs an additional professional trustee, specialist support or part-time resource, please contact me for help. Details of my current appointments are available on my My Background page.
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