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IPE special report May 2018

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One-third of trustees to leave within five years, survey shows

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  • One-third of trustees to leave within five years, survey shows

UK - One in three pension scheme trustees expects to leave his or her post within the next five years, according to a survey from insurer MetLife.

A study of 122 trustees of defined benefit pension schemes also showed that, of the 34% who expected to move within that period, 57% would retire, while 17% expect that a change in job will mean they can no longer remain a trustee.

A further 10% will be stepping down as their term of office ends.

Of the two-thirds of those surveyed who do expect to remain as trustees for the next five years, 74% have plans in place to de-risk their pension scheme, and 77% of these are considering a buy-in or buyout.

Wayne Daniel, chief executive at MetLife Assurance, said: "It is important schemes have succession plans agreed to replace the knowledge and skills that may be lost once experienced trustees retire, step down or move to new roles.

"A possible solution would be to work with a professional trustee company to ensure continuous support and knowledge is maintained on the trustee board."
 
However, Daniel said there was no evidence trustees were giving up their posts because of the pace of legislative change, or because they were worried they were not receiving enough training.

In fact, just one in 10 trustees said they lacked the training to do their job.

And of those surveyed, 93% were happy with the support for training offered by sponsoring employers.

The small knowledge gaps identified by the research included demand for a wider range of training, with some respondents saying that not all trustees were highly IT competent.

Others complained of constantly having to "chase the game" because of legislative changes.

Daniel said: "The pace of legislative change and the external challenges to pension scheme funding mean trustees need support to perform their duties, and it is encouraging employers are ensuring it is delivered."

He added: "It is crucial sponsoring employers and trustees work in partnership to manage their pension schemes, identifying risks and agreeing suitable long-term strategies."

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