UK - More than a third a UK pension schemes are having trouble recruiting trustees because of increasing regulatory pressures on pension fund trustees, a study has found.

Mercer Human Resources Consulting has conducted a Trustee Board Structure, Performance and Remuneration survey revealing 36% of schemes find it difficult to recruit trustees and a further 6% think it to become more difficult in the future because of "increased demand from changing  legislation and regulation".

More specifically, level of responsibility, liability and commitment under recent regulatory developments is thought to have deterred potential candidates from supporting pension funds.

At least 29% of the 169 schemes questioned said levels of responsibility deter trustees, while 26% said the shortfall is because to high workloads, 21% to the complexity of the job and the remaining 24% say the gap is created by a lack of interest and a concern over personal accountability.

Findings reveal almost half (47%) now pay at least one trustee to fill a required role while a further 28% do not monitor the performance of trustee responsibility.

Interestingly, the levels of remuneration are perhaps lower than might be anticipated and those which do make payments tend to be the larger schemes by asset size as the study found just 1% of schemes pay all of their trustees.

The chair of the trustees is likely to be paid £22,000 (€32,500) but trustees, who are not independent professional trustees, tend only to be paid if they are pensioners themselves and receive a median of £5,000.

Evidence also suggests professional trustees tend to be employed by the larger schemes, according to Mercer.

The study was conducted during April and May 2007 and at lest 39% of those surveyed were schemes with assets of more than £250m.