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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…
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.
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