Training for Trustees and Governance Committees

Our pensions governance training programme covers Trustee training for occupational pension schemes and governance committee training for group personal pensions (GPP) and group self invested pension plans (GSIPP).

It is always tailored to meet the priorities of the client, but the general working agenda is shown below.
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Pensions Trustee and Governance committee training

A regular question is “how long does it take?”

The training can be broken down into modules and a session may be focused on some basic necessities or on a broader range of knowledge. The depth of any subject is a choice, so a session could cover a wide range of the agenda, offering an introductory understanding or a master class on a focused element. There are places in the course ideally suited to delegate participation such as individual and team exercises on expression of wish decisions, and identifying the top determinants in preparation for a supplier procurement presentation (eg: an investment manager beauty parade).

The full programme as shown below would cover two days, but where shorter sessions are required anything from an hour is very useful for participants as delivery will focus on a specific objective. However this is a fascinating subject for most attendees, especially when they start to engage with the issues, and an hour passes so quickly that delegates will often be disappointed that it didn’t go on longer. In our experience the optimal shorter training session should be pitched at a two hour duration. On the other hand there are times where the session must fit into a wider course structure and where this is the case an hour works well.

Pensions governance training for trustees and governance committees.

  • 1. Defining the mission

    • Governance and fiduciary duty
    • Law, regulations and best practice
    • Responsibilities of the individuals

  • 2. Scheme Design

    • Occupational or Contract
    • Defined Benefit
    • Defined Contribution
    • Career Average
    • Hybrid

  • 3. Areas of coverage and examples or case studies

    • Administration and operations
    • Death benefits and other difficult benefit decisions
    • Investments (asset classes, fund types, risk/reward, market characteristics)
    • Actuarial and Funding
    • Employer covenant
    • Members communication and education

  • 4. Governance Structure and processes

    • Trust board / governance committee
    • Sub committees
    • Meetings – frequency, preparation, agenda, minutes, actions
    • Documents, reports

5. Suppliers

  • Outsourced services
  • Actuaries and other consultants
  • Investment managers
  • Procurement and decision making (including the beauty parade)

  • 6. Investment 1

    • Defined Benefit – asset and liability management
    • Defined Contribution – members account growth and risk/reward appetite
    • Choosing a DC default fund
    • Investment performance (e.g. time weighted, money weighted, relative, absolute)

  • 7. Investment 2

    • Understanding investment presentations and fund fact sheets (including commonly used ratios)
    • How equity and bond markets affect DB assets and liabilities

  • 8. Retirement

    • Annuities – guaranteed, stock market linked
    • Partial retirement
    • Draw-down

  • 9. Terms and buzz words

    (brief coverage here but detailed sessions available)

    • Auto enrolment
    • Default fund
    • Defined ambition
    • De-risking
    • Lifestyle fund
    • Multi-asset
    • RDR
    • Target dated fund
    • what others have you heard?

10. Organisations and resources

  • HMRC and DWP
  • FCA (Financial Conduct Authority)
  • NEST (National Employment Savings Trust)
  • PPF (Pension Protection Fund)
  • TPR (The Pensions Regulator)
  • Trustee tool kit