The opdu Report - Issue 18, May 2005
opdu assists with establishment of new Trustees’ Panel
At the opdu Annual Meeting in January, the Pensions Minister Malcolm Wicks acknowledged the importance of the role of trustees in taking forward essential pension scheme reforms. In March, he announced his intention to establish a Trustees’ Panel and, along with other industry bodies, opdu has been pleased to respond to a request to nominate some of the members of the panel.
In his announcement, the Minister said:
“Trustees perform a responsible and valuable role dealing first hand with the challenges facing their schemes.
I am keen to find a way of making sure that we take full account of the views of trustees in our thinking on occupational pensions issues, as well as giving trustees the acknowledgement and support that is their due. And I want to make it quite clear that I am indebted to Brian Holden, in particular for suggesting such an approach when he raised the idea of a Trustee Task Force.
I am particularly interested in exploring trustees' views on how we can effect the transition from a third over time, to half Member Nominated Trustees.
How far they feel they can and should influence investment strategy in a post Myners world, and the difficulties they face in managing conflicts of interest within the trustee body.
I would also like to have their views on the qualifications and regulatory regime.
I am therefore very pleased to announce that I have asked the PMI to
co-ordinate the setting up of a Trustees' Panel, who I and the Department can turn to for advice on a regular basis on these and other issues, from a trustees' perspective.
We want to be able to draw on the knowledge of trustees with a variety of experience and responsibilities. I am therefore pleased to announce that the TUC, the NAPF and the Occupational Pensions Defence Union have indicated their willingness to collaborate with the PMI in setting up the panel.
I want to stress that this will not be a Quango. I believe that its strength 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.”