Client feedback


Edwin’s working to ensure the other trustees get involved. Last year he took more of a leading role, which I was very grateful for. He is well organised and proactive. Feedback from external advisers has been good.
Jeremy Barnard ,
Imerys
Excellent and comprehensive training course. I will definitely refer to what I've learned and received.
Kyp Kyprianou,
Bam Construction UK Ltd
Very professional and engaged service.
Danny Nussbaum,
HR Director, Volvo
It’s a pleasure working with key members of the PSGS team: their experience and leadership means that they know how to get the job done, working in partnership with fellow trustees, employers and advisers to achieve the best result for members.
Mark Smith,
Partner at Taylor Wessing
The trustee training course lecturers' explanations and willingness to answer questions were most valuable - even silly ones - although I have learnt there are no 'silly questions' that trustees should ask.
Anonymous
PSGS offered the right support at very short notice, at reasonable cost, when we really needed it.
Ian Edwards,
Chair of Trustee, Comet Pension Scheme
image for Appointing an independent pension trustee | Need for professional trustee

Why use a professional pension trustee?

There are clear times when an occupational pension scheme or sponsoring employer should consider appointing an independent trustee.

They include when:

  • there's a gap in your pension trustee board’s knowledge or experience - particular expertise may be needed in, for example, pension investment, buy-outs, pension scheme governance, scheme wind up etc
  • additional support is needed to deal with legislative or regulatory requirements, such as implementing The Pension Regulators single code of practice including an effective system of governance and own risk assessment (ORA)
  • demonstrating you have independent expertise on your trustee board would be beneficial - for example for effective 21st century trusteeship

Other common situations that have led clients to appoint a professional independent trustee from PSGS:

  • Conflicts of interest – often an issue for employer-nominated pension trustees during pension scheme funding and recovery plan negotiations or a corporate deal that might impact the strength of the employer covenant.
  • Fundamental change to pension benefits - for example when the sponsor wants to close a pension scheme to future accrual when it's important the company does not have undue influence on the pension trustees’ decisions.
  • Poor adviser performance - when the scheme sponsor or pension trustees feel they are not receiving the best service or advice or when your pension scheme costs are increasing or out of control.
  • At or following an actuarial valuation - when a pension scheme investment review is about to start, familiarity with asset and liability studies and knowledge of the wide range of investment options available to pension schemes becomes crucial.
  • Insufficient time – for many pension schemes, existing trustees often simply don’t have enough time or the motivation to deal with the legacy arrangement. Appointing PSGS as sole trustee removes the burden and responsibility for managing the pension scheme from them.

Case study

Our client: a leading charity

Objectives:

  • to manage the legal issues associated with closing the DB (defined benefit) scheme to future accrual
  • change investment strategy to reduce volatility and better match insurer portfolios
  • represent members’ interests and keep them informed

Solution:

When the pension scheme sponsor informed us they wanted to close the DB scheme to future accrual, we sought legal advice on whether there was a ‘Courage Case’ problem with the scheme’s amendment power. This was an important issue for our members because it would decide whether the scheme’s link to final salary could be broken when it closed to future accrual.

Next, we started negotiating with the sponsoring employer about members’ future benefits. We also ensured all communications sent to our members were clear, accurate and helpful.

At the end of the consultation period, we ensured time was allocated to consider members’ comments and make any necessary amendments to the final proposal.

If you would like to talk through how we can help with your pension scheme, please contact us.

Speak direct to our specialist in this area

Picture of James Double independent trustee at PSIT

James Double

Head of Trusteeship

Or call us on:

0118 207 2900

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