Client feedback


As a pensions novice, I felt that the trustee training course gave me a good grounding.
Will Court
​They are very proactive and full of new ideas, they've brought better scheduling and better minute sets.
Paul Rudd,
Express Newspapers
I learnt more than I expected to at the trustee training course. A good introduction to the trustee role.
Rob Hartley,
RSPCA
PSGS was chosen because of their knowledge of the subject and awareness of our particular schemes.
George Batho ,
Trustee, Lansing Linde
Ever increasing regulation has placed a heavy burden on trustees both in terms of time and the risk of non-compliance. PSGS has the experience and the resources to help trustees manage these burdens.
Mark Atkinson,
Partner at CMS Cameron McKenna
Very broad, comprehensive trustee training course covering a wide range of topics. Excellent!
Tom Graham,
Star Group Pension Scheme

Member trustees – why fish in a small pool?

Truth or untruth: only an active member or pensioner can be a member-nominated trustee?

Complete untruth, yet so many pension schemes still act otherwise. No wonder they struggle to find people to fill member nominated trustee (MNT) vacancies when they arise! It’s surprising really, given defined benefit (DB) pension schemes have mostly been closed to accrual for a long time now. Surely it no longer makes sense to restrict the pool of ‘candidates’ in this way?

It’s very easy to open MNT recruitment up to deferred pension members with a proviso they can’t be selected if they work for a competitor to the pension scheme’s sponsor (or must resign if they later start a job with a competitor). Not only could it solve the problem of a lack of MNT candidates, it could also introduce more diversity – certainly when it comes to age if nothing else!

While I’m thinking about diversity…

Pension schemes need to learn a lesson or two from recruitment campaigning. Although it’s an expert industry in its own right, we can easily put into practice some of the basics of effective recruitment communication. What makes this even more important is, when it comes to member trustees, we’re almost always searching for passive candidates (ie people who aren’t looking for the job).

As someone who works in communications, I get frustrated when I see the same mistakes made over and over in pension communications. It starts with language and tone and voice – there’s so much formality and still too much technical jargon used. People forget who they are writing from and to. They don’t seem to think about how silly they’d sound if they were using that language in conversation with someone. Most communications come down to one person (or, for a trustee board, a group of people) talking to another person.

The wonderful Joe Craig from Quietroom recently ran a session for the PSGS team about diversity in pension communications. His 7 ways to break down barriers is really helpful for MNT communications. Luckily, Joe’s happy for me to repeat them here…

  • Talk about people, not processes
  • Write like a human
  • Use ‘you’ so people can picture themselves
  • Put people in, and use the active voice
  • Avoid gendered language and military metaphors
  • Emphasise characteristics over expertise and experience
  • Watch out for any unintended messages your writing sends

Quietroom’s Joe is also happy for me to share these examples of how to write your MNT invitations and how not to. Do it right and the pool you’re fishing in for new pension trustees will become a whole lot bigger.


Watch Joe Craig MNT slides on Vimeo

 

 

Back to opinions

 

Hot topics


Social policies in pension schemes
Image of Hot Topic author Simon Lewis, Client Director

As asset owners, pension trustees have clout in helping increase the pace of progress on ESG....

Read more »


Consideration of social risks & opportunities call for evidence response
Image of Hot Topic author Gerald Wellesley, Client Director

When responding to The Pensions Regulator’s single code of governance consultation, we noted...

Read more »


More opinions »


Call: 0845 313 0024

online enquiry