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UK: independent trustees get code of guidance

UK – The Independent Pension Trustee Group has launched a voluntary code of guidance for professional trustees – saying the code meets a need.

The group unveiled the 28-page “living document” at an event in London last night. “It’s not just about writing the code – it’s about raising standards,” said IPTG chairman Tony Ashmore. “We think we’re meeting a need.”

He added: “Pension schemes are so different that what you need is guidance – so it does have great flexibility. It’s a living document.

Pensions ombudsman David Laverick said: “The code provides a very useful indication of the standard of service which independent pension trustees should be providing.

“I will certainly be taking of the code when considering complaints which may in future be made to me.”

“This code of guidance sets out some broad principles that are expected of independent pension trustees, and how these are applied in practice will differ from scheme to scheme,” the code’s foreword states.

The document deals with six topics: appointment procedures, dealing with co-trustees and third parties, investment, risk management, compliance and insolvency.

Meanwhile, the Pensions Management Institute has responded to the Department of Work and Pensions review of the Myners Principles. The DWP report (last week) put trustees under increasing scrutiny.

"Government should applaud the progress that has been made to date by trustees in seriously addressing many of the issues raised by the Myners principles,” said PMI president Roger Cobley.

“The fact that there has been little activity by many schemes in some of the areas that Paul Myners included in the principles, particularly activism, appears to indicate that these areas are not viewed by trustees (or their advisors) as readily adding value to the overall process of improving the investment decision making process."


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