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About your Trustees

Information about the Board of Trustees of the Pension Scheme

In this article
Your Trustees Are Are you interested in becoming a Trustee of the Pension Scheme?

Your Trustees Are

Employer Appointed Trustees as chosen by the Employer:

  • PTL Governance Ltd, represented by Alison Bostock (Chair, independent professional trustee)
  • Julian Edwards (pensioner member Hybrid Section)
  • Rebecca Fearnley (active member DC Section and deferred member Hybrid Section)
  • Ron Lam (deferred member DC Section)

Employer appointed trustees do not have a fixed term of office. 

    Member Nominated Trustees as selected by the Trustee Board:

    • Dominic Lindley (deferred member DC Section – appointed to 31 March 2024)
    • Alastair Reed (active member DC Section – appointed to 31 March 2023)

    Member nominated trustees are appointed for a fixed term and are able to stand for re-nomination if they wish.

      Nomination and Selection process

      Nominations are sought by the Trustee Board whenever an existing term of office is due to end. Usually the Trustees will stipulate what type of nominees they are seeking, in order to maintain a balanced representation between active, deferred and pensioner members as well as between the two Sections, DC and Hybrid.

      Any member of the Pension Scheme may nominate themselves or any other member, dependent on meeting the Trustees' stipulations . All nominations must be supported by two seconders who are also members of the Scheme.

      Dependants in receipt of a pension cannot be nominated or act as a seconder.

      Nominees need to provide a short statement about their relevant background and experience and what they think they can contribute to the work of the Trustee Board.

      Successful nominees will be interviewed by a selection committee, which is made up from the existing Trustee Board. The final selection is agreed by the whole Trustee Board.

      Are you interested in becoming a Trustee of the Pension Scheme?

      Here are some guidelines to help you consider whether you want to be a Trustee.

      Essential Qualities

      You must have free time available for the role

      1. You must have time available to learn about pensions, unless you have a background in pensions already.  The Pensions Regulator provides on-line training via the Trustee Toolkit.  It takes about 30 hours to go through the on-line Toolkit and you can have a look at it here:-

        https://trusteetoolkit.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/
         
      2. You will also need at least 8 half-days a year free to attend Trustee Board meetings, plus the time to prepare for these meetings.
         
      3. You might need to take part in several teleconferences during a year, perhaps 1 or 2 in a quarter.
         
      4. You will need to keep your knowledge up to date and attend external training courses on 1 or 2 days a year
         
      5. We anticipate that in the first year of trusteeship, you will need to set aside about 24 days, to include completing the Toolkit within the first 6 months

      You must have integrity

      You cannot be a trustee if:

      • you have ever been convicted of any offence involving dishonesty or deception,
      • or you are an undischarged bankrupt,
      • or have made undischarged arrangements with your creditors,
      • or you have been disqualified from being a company director
      • or you are subject to an order for failing to pay under a county court administration order. 

      You cannot be a trustee if the Pensions Regulator has prohibited you from being a trustee.

      You must have the ability to act impartially, setting aside self-interest

      Pension scheme trustees are required to act in the best interest of all the beneficiaries of the Scheme.  This means that you do not represent a specific section of the membership, but represent all members – including current employees, past employees, pensioners and their dependants and you are not allowed to benefit one section of the members at the expense of another section.   

      You need an understanding of conflicts of interest

      Sometimes decisions are required that might affect you personally – this would be a conflict of interest for you.  You might for example be conflicted if you are an employee of the sponsoring employer where you have a duty to the employer which could be in conflict with the needs of the Scheme. You might be conflicted if you are asked to make a decision in respect of benefits for someone you know personally.  You need to be able to recognise when you are conflicted.  You can still be a trustee, but you might not be able to take part in a discussion and decision where you are conflicted.

      You need to have the ability to weigh up what can sometimes be complex information and come to a decision which would be deemed as reasonable for a prudent person to come to

      Some actuarial and investment advice is complex.  If necessary you may be expected to challenge the expert advisers in order to make sure you really understand the issues and what is at stake.  And then you may need to make a decision which you and your co-trustees can demonstrate takes into account the relevant facts and ignores the irrelevant information, and is both reasonable and prudent.

      You need to have experience of working in a ‘committee environment’

      The Trustees on the Trustee Board need to work together.  Sometimes the Trustee Board comes to a unanimous view, and sometimes decisions are carried by a simple majority.  You need to be able to listen to the arguments, and come to your reasonable and prudent view, and be respectful if the majority view is different from your own. 

      You need understanding of the Trustees' role and the role of the Employer

      These roles are different for the two different sections of the Scheme.

      In regard to the Hybrid Section it is not a trustees’ role to negotiate better terms or conditions for Scheme members, but to ensure that the benefits promised by the Scheme are delivered.  The Employer’s role is to fund the benefits and there is a balance to be had between ensuring the Scheme has adequate funding and the Employer’s ability to continue in operation.  The Scheme will run into difficulties with the Pensions Regulator if trustees fail to negotiate sufficient funding from the Employer, but this has to be balanced against the risk to members’ benefits overall if the trustees negotiate a level of funding which results in the Employer’s financial failure.

      In regard to the DC Section there are no promised benefits, but the Trustee is required to ensure that Scheme members' Pension Accounts are invested prudently and as intended. This includes determining an investment strategy on behalf of members that aims for an acceptable balance between investment risk and investment return, monitoring the proper investment of members' money in accordance with their wishes and monitoring the performance of the investment manager, Legal & General Investment Managers (LGIM).

      Desirable Qualities

      Broad understanding of the characteristics of the primary asset classes: equities, bonds, property and cash in terms of what and how they deliver – capital loss or growth and/or income.

      An understanding of:

      • the role of trustees in occupational pension schemes,
      • the role of the employer in sponsoring an occupational pension scheme,
      • the key risks affecting pension schemes,
      • the key risks affecting the Employer,
      • the key principles of the General Data Protection Regulations,
      • the principle information in a set of annual report and accounts,
      • the mathematical principle of discounting – i.e. the present value today of a future payment or  capital sum,
      • interest rates,
      • inflation.

      An interest in internal controls and governance arrangements.