The Specialist for Pension Trustee Liability Insurance
A group of pensions managers and lawyers recognised an increasing need for the interests of those responsible for running occupational pensions schemes to be protected, particularly in the new regulatory and legislative framework being contemplated following the Maxwell fiasco. It was considered that a comprehensive and innovative pension trustee liability insurance policy was needed due to the limitations of existing policies in the market.
Thomas Miller & Co. Ltd., (TMC) was approached given its long tradition and reputation in providing a
full range of specialist insurance management services. It was selected because of its expertise,
in managing mutual insurance companies in the international transport sector and more recently a number of UK-based insurance products and risk management services tailor-made to the requirements of professions in the UK - including a compulsory scheme providing professional indemnity insurance for all barristers in England & Wales.
NAPF facilitated a meeting of representatives from a wide range of pension schemes and pension professionals to explore proposals for establishing something similar to the medical defence union. As a result a Steering Committee under the Chairmanship of Alan Herbert
(ex B.P.) was formed comprising of a number of pension professionals to work with TMC to design OPDU.
At the inaugral meeting of the Steering Committee, Jonathan Bull and Ian Jarrett of TMC put forward proposals for a unique pension trustee liability insurance facility. This facility was structured to provide trustees and those involved in the administration of pension schemes with comprehensive Pension Trustee Liability insurance combined with the benefits of a traditional mutual insurance association with its emphasis on risk management.
OPDU launched to co-incide with the implementation of the Pensions Act 1995. First insured members:
J. Sainsbury plc and Philips Electronics UK Limited.
OPDU successfully designed to provide a unique combination of risk management and comprehensive pension trustee liability insurance for trustees, retired trustees, directors of corporate trustee companies, pension schemes, pension managers and sponsoring employers.
An Advisory Council was elected from the OPDU membership to represent the interests of the insured members to work with TMC to ensure that OPDU was as pro-active as possible to meet the needs of its membership and help raise standards in the management of pension schemes.
OPDU’s first Annual Meeting addressed by Dr. Julian Farrand, John Hayes and Malcolm McLean thus recognising OPDU providing a bridge to the potential divide between
the stringencies of regulation and the Government’s active encouragement of trusteeship, including MNTs.
Key features of the new pension trustee liability insurance cover introduced including increasing the period of retirement cover for individuals from 10 to 12 years; Litigation Costs Extension introduced to pay costs in seeking directions or a declaration from courts - a unique and significant enhancement of cover.
Annual Meeting addressed by David Bright, President of PMI.
Trustee Risk Management service introduced for insured members of OPDU and non-members.
OPDU launches web site.
Jeff Rooker, Minister of State for Pensions, keynote speaker at Annual Meeting.
OPDU hosted discussion forum on “Pensions Administration – Managing Trustees Expectations” which over 150 pension professionals attended. This resulted in the formation of the Raising Standards of Pension Administration (RSPA) Steering Group.
Largest claim paid to date of approximately £600K involved members selecting a particular lifestyle option that was misdescribed in the scheme booklet.
Harriet Maunsell, Chairman of Opra, addressed Annual Meeting.
New cover launched for trustees who are advised to pursue an action against a third party (after-the-event legal costs insurance) such as professional negligence claims against fund managers and consultants. Recommended that all trustees should consider purchasing this cover to protect fund assets before embarking upon litigation against a third party..
OPDU modernises its corporate image to reflect the quality and innovative nature of its services. Website is similarly redesigned.
Claims report issued summarising details of pension trustee liabilty claims in order to assist schemes with risk management.
Julian Brazier TD MP, Shadow Minister for Work & Pensions, addresses Annual Meeting on a “Secure Future in Pensions”.
OPDU members have in excess
of £75bn fund assets under management.
OPDU supports the Pensions Archive Steering Group – an initiative to capture the story of the development of pension provision in the UK.
OPDU participated in the development of the Trustee Code of Practice which was launched by the Pensions Minister.
Dramatic rise in market rates for pension trustee liability insurance policies. Underwriters have concerns about scheme deficits and some exclude cover for sponsoring employers. OPDU, however, with its unique position in representing a large number of well-run pension schemes, found itself well placed to shield its members from excessive increases while maintaining its position as market leader in terms of the benefits and cover provided. ACE (Europe), OPDU’s underwriter, thereby demonstrates its commitment to OPDU in providing comprehensive pension trustee liability insurance cover at a reasonable cost.
Members of OPDU have in excess of £100bn scheme assets in trust.
Tony Hobman, Chief Executive of Opra and Christine Farnish, Chief Executive of the NAPF address Annual Meeting. Opra focussing on a more risk-based approach to regulation.
Membership grows to 150 with assets of approximately £110bn in trust.
Website averages 250 visits per day with much of the information being downloaded.
November Annual Meeting is switched to more convenient January date for future meetings.
OPDU pension trustee liability insurance and services made available in Ireland.
OPDU’s subsidiary trm (Trustee Risk Management) holds regional seminars in conjunction with the DWP to assist trustees to manage change in the light of the new Pension Bill (2004).
The Minister of State for Pensions, Malcolm Wicks MP, keynote speaker at Annual Meeting gives exceptionally open address on the future of pension provision.
Membership almost doubles in 18 months.
OPDU launches insurance cover for professional trustee liabilities following the winding-up of a pension scheme.
OPDU granted FSA approval as an authorised body.
trm holds a series of interactive trustee workshops in conjunction with the Pensions Regulator to assist “knowledge and understanding” in the new regulatory and legislative environment.
OPDU, together with the TUC, PMI & NAPF, responds to request to nominate members for a trustee panel established by the Pensions Minister as an independent representative trustee body for an on-going dialogue with Government.
OPDU assists the Regulator and DWP in developing some of the Codes of Practice.
OPDU agrees to provide financial and administrative support to the Pensions Archive project.
OPDU undertakes major initiative to promote the raising of trustee awareness by distributing a free trustee risk management model on CD - available to all occupational pension schemes.
Due to continued membership growth, Marcia Adele and Kaye Lambert appointed as dedicated Account Managers. David Simpson, Barrister, is also appointed to the claims department.
Peter Askins, the senior individual at the DWP for policy issues on trusteeship and scheme administration, addresses Annual Meeting on the high level issues associated with pensions reform and the key dependencies that will facilitate the reform process.
OPDU, in conjunction with trm, nominated for Engaged Investor's Trustee Awards for the private sector company demonstrating the most commitment towards trustee education.
OPDU's financial limits increased for the 12 year contingency run-off cover which is provided for retired trustees. Similarly, higher financial limits of cover made available in respect of OPDU's optional Litigation Costs Extension (covers costs of seeking directions or a declaration from court as to future conduct of matters).
OPDU Pension Support Bond (psb) launched to deliver a cost-effective and flexible solution to minimise exposure to over-funding a pension scheme while maintaining commitment to the scheme.
Website averages 300 visits per day.
350 schemes insured with approximately £115bn fund assets in trust.
Thomas Miller is expert in the provision of professional indemnity insurance. We are well known in the UK for managing insurance services for barristers, solicitors, patent agents, housing associations and pension fund trustees (OPDU). Our success in this field is due to a thorough knowledge of our clients' businesses and the issues facing them.
Visit the Thomas Miller website at www.thomasmiller.com
OPDU protects pension schemes by providing unique Pension Trustee Liability insurance cover to trustees, administrators and sponsoring employers.
Pension Schemes holding total combined assets in excess of £180 billion have joined OPDU.