New rules for Pension Scheme Trustees

Messages on April 9th, 2010 No Comments

We wish to advise that the Pensions Board has launched its interactive e-learning training course for pension scheme trustees.

The Pensions Act was amended to include a requirement for pension scheme trustees to undertake training at regular intervals. New trustees are now required to undertake training within six months of being appointed, while existing trustees must be trained within two years. All trustees will then be required to undertake training every two years thereafter.

The trustee training requirement can be met by completing the Pensions Board’s online course.

There are 9 Lessons (listed below). Each Lesson takes approximately 1 hour and contains 6/7 topics.

    • 1) Understanding pensions
    • 2) Being a trustee
    • 3) Scheme rules, contributions and benefits
    • 4) Running a scheme
    • 5) Scheme financing for defined benefit schemes
    • 6) Investing a scheme’s assets
    • 7) Administration and accounting
    • Member communication
    • 9) Managing problems

Further details are available on the Pensions Board website

Please note that the Pensions Board has previously confirmed:

There is no distinction between Individual Schemes and Group Schemes when it comes to trustee training – if the employer is the pension scheme trustee then the training requirements apply to all directors.

If the employer is the trustee, it is not possible to nominate just one or two directors to act on behalf of all directors. In this situation all directors of the employer must complete the training.

The only exemption to the trustee training requirements is if the employer is a joint trustee with either a Corporate Trustee or a Pensioneer Trustee – this removes the requirement for the employer to undertake trustee training.

Please note there is no requirement for trustee training for Death Benefit only schemes (this will help if such schemes are set up by employers to provide Life Cover alongside Group PRSA or our new Fusion schemes).

Disclosure of Trustee Training

Details of training undertaken by trustees will have to be included in the scheme’s annual report. Trustees will also need to confirm in the annual report that they have access to the most recent edition of the Pensions Board trustee training handbook (available free on the Pensions Board website) and the Pensions Board Guidance Notes.

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