UK - The 10.4 billion-pound (15.6 billion-euro) Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme is seeking to appoint a skilled trustee who will be able to debate investment strategy and assess consultant advice.

“The Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme and Department of Trade and Industry are looking for a new trustee,” Coal Pension Trustees chief executive David Morgan told IPE. He said the new trustee would replace Peter Keenan, whose term is ending.

“They will have to come to the table fully functional with trustee skills already honed. Much of the work during the next year will focus on a review of investment strategy – where a different approach is needed for a 10 billion-pound closed scheme with a government guarantee.”

“The new trustee will have to be able to contributed to the debate on strategy and the assessment of the consultant’s advice.” According to ‘Pension Funds and their Advisers 2004’, the scheme is advised by Watson Wyatt.

The post is for three years – with the DTI as guarantor - with pay of 10,000 pounds a year for around 20 days work. Morgan is handling the initial stages of recruitment.

A report yesterday from the Department of Work and Pensions found that the trustees of occupational pension schemes were finding “barriers” to challenging their relationships with investment consultants.

This was borne out by PricewaterhouseCoopers, which today said: “The DWP findings support a trend we commonly observe in practice where trustees have effectively delegated decision making to their investment consultant because they lack the skills and knowledge necessary to ask critical questions and challenge the advice received.”

The trustee board is chaired by Norman Braithwaite.