UK – The Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme and British Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme have beefed up their governance framework via the web – a growing trend due to stringent regulations.

“There are a huge number of parties who have a role in relation to the pension schemes and they need access to vital information to do their jobs,” said Mike Furbank of Coal Pension trustees.

eShare – a UK provider of web-based governance tools – has been tasked with implementing the new framework, which will include eMeetings (an additional eShare product).

“We are testing it at present, and are happy with the how it is shaping up. It is excellent for the dissemination of information and storing it,” Furbank told IPE.

“Trustee responsibilities are increasing at an unprecedented pace and the regulator is demanding more and more from them,” said eShare spokesperson Alister Esam.

“It’s about time we started giving them the tools and information to deal with those responsibilities. How else can they deliver to their members?”

According to Esam, there has been a growing demand for products like this, which he predicts will take off “massively”.

Under the specially tailored system, all pension documents will be stored centrally, and will be easily accessible for all pension fund stakeholders. It will be implemented via standard Internet tools, and will have security and encryption similar to banking websites.

“But it will be as easy as logging onto eBay,” Esam told IPE.

According to Furbank, “The most exciting feature is eMeetings: Going forward we will be collating, distributing and storing meeting papers for trustee boards and sub-committees electronically in meeting sites.”

The eShare system will also provide flexibility and an essential control mechanism for what different stakeholders can access, he added.