Summer has finally arrived, and as many pack up and head off for the summer holidays (I felt for those trying to make their way to Dover this weekend), I’ve been watching a few key trending discussions on mallowstreet over the past week.
On Wednesday, a very interesting question was posted on mallowstreet: what should be the top priorities for the new undersecretary of state for pensions and government? The mallowstreet community has a lot to say, and more than 10 comments have already been posted. They cover a range of opinion, and top of the list is a focus on Auto-enrolment, pensions freedoms, tax relief for pensions, and the Lifetime ISA.
A key focus for trustees, consultants and asset managers over the past several weeks has been on sustainability and responsible investment. For example, is the current state of sustainability data and its integration into pension fund investment decisions adequate? What more can be done, and what questions should pension funds be asking, and crucially, how can the industry push this forward together?
The final piece I’d like to draw your attention to is the discussion paper released by The Pensions Regulator (TPR): “21st Century Trusteeship and Governance.” This discussion paper asks for your input and commentary on 12 questions and we will submit our mallowstreet contribution before the stated deadline of 9th September 2016. Please login and add share your suggestions with the community (click here to make your comment)
The questions are designed to generate useful ideas and spark a debate:
- There are currently no barriers to entry for professional trustees. Should there be?
- Do you think it is the role of the chair of trustees to support trustees and use their leadership skills to improve the likelihood of appropriate scheme processes being put in place?
- Should the requirement to appoint a chair and report on compliance with governance standards be introduced for DB schemes?
- How can we help trustees to be aware of, understand and apply the TKU framework?
- Do you have any views as to how we can help new trustees bring their knowledge and skills up to the required standard within the statutory period?
- How can trustees demonstrate they have the minimum level of competence required to fulfil their role?
- Do you have a view as to whether a CPD framework would assist trustees to meet the challenges of scheme governance?
- What further education tools and products would you find useful to receive from us?
- What do you think is the best way of managing conflicts of interests?
- What do you think are the key challenges faced by trustees in engaging effectively with administration and investment governance and third party providers and advisers?
- What should be done with those schemes that are unwilling or unable to deliver good governance and member outcomes?
- Would you find it useful to see overarching guidance covering issues common to all schemes, with more specific issues being covered in technical guidance?
- Do you have any other thoughts on the issues raised in this paper or on how standards of trusteeship and quality of governance?
The idea of a ‘summer slowdown’ seems elusive, and it will be fascinating to see how these conversations develop over the next week. Please join these discussions on www.mallowstreet.com, and share your views, ideas, and questions with the community.
See you on mallowstreet!