Pensions & benefits
The objectives of this project was to help the trustees review their governance framework with the ultimate aim of improving effectiveness and decision making.
We played a key role in ensuring the successful completion of this project through:
- Undertaking a board effectiveness review to better understand how the trustee board was currently operating to build an understanding of the existing governance framework.
- Reviewing existing governance documentation, for example, trustee policies and working documents, to ensure they remained fit for purpose and in line with current legislative and regulatory requirements. Any discrepancies were identified and addressed.
- Considering the various third parties and stakeholders involved in managing the pension scheme and establishing and clarifying roles, responsibilities and reporting structures in order to improve decision making.
- Making recommendations on how lines of communication, for example, between the trustee and company could be improved and supporting the trustee in implementing a new joint committee to discuss key funding and investment ideas.
- The project resulted in significant improvements to how the trustees managed the pension scheme. In addition to improving their decision making framework, the trustees have better relationships with their corporate sponsor and advisers, are more confident that they are executing their responsibilities correctly and are starting to see a reduction in costs and management time.
- Having not used committees before, the trustees introduced three new committees to ensure that key matters such as investment and administration were given sufficient consideration without taking focus away from strategic discussions at board meetings. There are now shorter and more focused trustee board meetings as a result of improved processes and more delegation of operational matters to committees.
- There was smoother agreement on the valuation as a result of more structured and regular communication through the joint working group between trustees and sponsor.
- There was improved investment decision making as a result of having a clear decision making framework in place and processes agreed beforehand in relation to pre-determined triggers.
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