FAQs

Why appoint an Independent Pension Trustee?

  • The regulator likes the principle of ITs as we mitigate the risk of conflicts of interest
  • FDs like ITs because they can outsource the running of their pension scheme to us – leaving them and their staff free to get on with their job
  • There are fewer members who can be member nominated – an IT can provide the same balance on a board 

Why appoint PTL as our pension trustee?

We are specialists… within specialist fields. We don’t adopt a one size fits all but seek to understand different sector needs. Our aim is to help our clients identify their strategic objectives, the different ways of achieving them, the best route right now and then to execute that strategy. We want to help our clients fix their problems not just contain them. In DB we want to ‘secure the members’ benefits as soon as possible at the least cost to the sponsor’. In DC we want to provide ‘Robust, Proactive defaults and an environment where members can make informed decisions’. 

What makes PTL different?

  • Peopleour people are our strength.
  • The Teamwe work as a team on all appointments.
  • Diversity the team come from varied backgrounds within the industry
  • Outcome focusedour aim is to help our clients identify their strategic objectives
  • Executive styleour approach is hands on. We want to take as much work away from our client as they want to delegate.
  • At the centrewe are heavily involved in the industry, sitting on a number of industry bodies and an active contributor to public debate on pension issues.

What Services are provided by PTL?

We specialise in trust based defined benefit, defined contribution schemes and contract based pension schemes including group personal pension plans

What is an Alternative Governance Structure (AGS)?

An Alternative Governance Structure (AGS) allows a company and its employees to remain involved in the management of a pension scheme but without the liability associated with being a trustee. 

What is Pension Scheme Budget Control Service (PSBCS)?

The PTL Pension Scheme Budget Control Service (PSBCS) aims to reduce these costs and make them more predictable. It is also an outsourcing service. We will take this work away from you, leaving you free to get on with your day job. 

What is Contract Based Pension Governance?

A trust board, a Pensions Management Committee, and a Pensions Committee. 

What is DC Governance?

A service we offer whereby PTL is appointed by the company as an independent governor. We work with your advisers together with you to ensure that:

  • The range of funds, including suitable default funds are appropriate and reviewed on a regular basis
  • The scheme administration is of a consistently high standard
  • The fund charges are acceptable and represent good value for money
  • Employee engagement and understanding is increased and supported by concise and clear communication 

What is a Document Vault?

A secure storage facility provided by PTL for scheme documents. Cataloguing and easily accessible and certified copies supplied as required. 

What is an Escrow Agent?

An independent trusted third party appointed on behalf of transacting parties to hold money whilst a transaction is carried out between the 1st & 2nd parties. 

What is the Expert Witness Service?

A Legal service involving a written or verbal testimony on contemporaneous practice so that actual behaviour can be compared against it. 

What are the benefits of using a Funding Negotiation Service?

The funding negotiation can be one of the most demanding matters that the company executive has to deal with. The results of the negotiation can be very significant, yet it is a matter that is unfamiliar to them and it can be hugely time consuming so, we will work with your company to:

  • Understand the balance of powers
  • Understand the constraints that limit the range of possible solutions
  • Understand the company’s objectives and help to express them
  • Understand the trustees objectives and proposals
  • Develop arguments in support of a preferred outcome
  • Express the outcome and explain the arguments to the trustees
  • Negotiate with the trustees
  • Ensure everything is properly documented in a manner that would satisfy regulatory scrutiny

What is Governance Audit Service?

A PTL service for Pension schemes to ensure the trust deeds and rules are complied with and that trustees are up to date with changes in the law and regulations have to be kept up with and complied with. 

What is Governance Committee Training?

Training provided by PTL to help the governance committee to regain/retain the control of their scheme while also providing a clear indication to the membership and the Pensions Regulator of their commitment to good governance. 

Who should attend Governance Committee Training?

Governance Committee members 

What is an Independent Pension Trustee?

An Independent professional trustee will look after and protect the interests of members of pension schemes. They have no interest in the assets of the employer or the scheme (other than as trustee of the scheme). 

What is an Investment Committee Service?

The Investment Committee Service is designed to ease this. Pitmans Trustees (PTL) can be appointed to chair or just attend an investment sub-committee. The sub-committee would be delegated the function of managing the scheme’s investments including taking advice as appropriate and making and reviewing decisions from time to time. 

What is a Non Pension – Trusteeship?

PTL can act as a professional Independent Trustee or provide support services to other types of trusts, not just pension schemes. E.g.:

  • Private or Family Trusts
  • Special Purpose Trusts
  • Charities
  • Employee Benefit Trusts
  • Safe Custody
  • Escrow Arrangements 

Who would benefit from have Observed Trustee Meetings?

A Trustee board considering appointing an Independent Trustee. We would sit in on a  trustee board meeting and then provide constructive feedback to help you to raise your performance. 

What is the Pension Dispute Resolution Service?

A service PTL provide to act as arbiter for pension disputes, including those raised under an Internal Disputes Resolution Procedure. Acting as part of a one or two stage procedure, the involvement of PTL will often reassure complainants that their complaint is being fairly heard. This means that there is a greater chance of resolution, reducing the effort otherwise needed to resolve the dispute both directly and indirectly. 

What are Pensions Managers?

Pensions Managers have the responsibility of ensuring that pension schemes are properly and effectively run in accordance with the governing documents of the scheme and any overriding legislation. A Pensions Manager could work in-house or with a third-party administrator and would need to ensure that the membership and scheme records are accurate, contributions and benefit payments are correct, and that scheme and membership information produced is correct and issued within prescribed timescales. 

Who is a Pensions Manager within PTL?

What does the Risk Management Service include?

Our Risk Management Service includes:

  • Identifying and prioritising risks
  • Defining risk management objectives
  • Developing risk control tools
  • Managing the risk in the future

What does the Secretarial Service include?

  • Access to other skills and knowledge when needed
  • Continuity of delivery
  • A standard of execution expected of a professional services firm
  • The passing off of liability at no extra cost

Who would benefit from the Secretarial Service?

The aim of the Pension Scheme Secretarial Service is to help trustees to comply with their legal obligations and good practice. 

What is the Specialist Charity Unit?

Our Specialist Charity Unit focuses exclusively on Charity pension schemes and their trustees. It is led by Melanie Cusack, Client Director who has extensive experience with a range of schemes in this sector. The Unit provides special services to charities as a consequence of the valuable insight we have gained through our work with them. 

What is a Temporary Trustee Service?

A temporary appointment as Independent Trustee to a trustee board. This can be useful during, for example, funding negotiations, clearance processes, scheme mergers or whenever the incumbent trustees feel isolated by conflicts of interest. 

What does TKU Management Service mean?

Trustee Knowledge and Understanding (TKU) is a code of practice outlining how Trustees should approach training and development. Our TKU Service assists Trustees with their training & development by providing the following:

  • Help trustees identify their training needs
  • Develop a Personal Learning Plan (PLP) for each trustee based on their needs
  • Source or deliver personalised training based on the PLP and keep a record of that training
  • Carry out an annual review to take account of changes in the scheme, legislation and/or regulation, and
  • Produce an auditable record of each trustee’s development

Who benefits from using a TKU Management Service?

Trustees & Employers. 

What does Trustee Training include?

We provide a range of standard training courses for new and experienced trustees and can also provide bespoke training. Our courses are designed to equip Trustees with the essential information needed to perform this task properly and effectively. 

What are the benefits of Trustee Training services?

Our training will help you to understand the background to and responsibilities that come with your role as Trustee. It will also help you to understand what to expect in your role. This level of training can also be taken by experienced trustees as a refresher to what you already know and to update you on new regulations.