UK - Pensions minister Malcolm Wicks has asked the Pensions Management Institute to coordinate the setting up of an independent trustees’ panel to advise the government.

“The government is keen to take into account trustees’ thinking on occupational pension issues, as well as giving them the support and acknowledgement that is their due,” Wicks told delegates of a conference organized by the PMI called ‘Pensions on the Precipice’.

The panel will advise the government about trustees’ views on themes such as investment decisions in a post-Myners environment and conflicts of interest within the trustee body.

“The strength of this panel will lie in the fact that it will be completely independent of government, but will have access to me on a regular basis and as such give a voice to trustees of all sorts at the highest level,” Wicks said.

PMI president Roger Cobley said: “We want to work with the government to implement all the changes as recommended in the Pensions Act.

“We want to restore public confidence in pensions and ensure that pensioners are able to enjoy financial security in retirement.”

The Trade Unions Congress, the National Association of Pension Funds and the Occupational Pension Defence Union were cooperating.

Wicks said yesterday at a conference organised by the Association of British Insurers that 4.5 million workers with access to a pension scheme have failed to join.