Trustees back knowledge and understanding requirements

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date: 12 April 2006

embargo: 00:01 hours Monday 24 April

Member-nominated trustees overwhelmingly back requirements for trustee knowledge and understanding, according to a TUC/Punter Southall survey.

The results of the survey of the TUC's trustee network, published today (Monday), show that all of the trustees questioned backed new Trustee Knowledge and Understanding requirements, and nearly three-quarters want to see a formal qualification for trustees. In contrast barely one in ten described TKU requirements as too onerous.

The survey also found almost unanimous support for the incoming requirement that half of the trustees on a trustee board are nominated by the scheme's membership.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber, said:

'This is a vote in confidence for government proposals to increase the power and professionalism of member-nominated trustees. This survey demonstrates that trustees with trade union support have a real appetite for an active role in the stewardship of their members' pensions. Member trustees want to fulfil their duties as effectively as possible, and as such are much more positive about TKU than many might expect.'

Key findings from the Punter Southall survey of members of the TUC Trustee Network (carried out in February 2006)

  • The requirement that from April trustees will be required to be able to demonstrate sufficient knowledge and understanding to fulfil their roles was unanimously supported as a good idea. Only 12 per cent described the TKU requirements as 'too onerous'.
  • Nearly three-quarters (73 per cent) favoured a formal qualification for trustees.
  • Nearly all (98 per cent) backed the government's proposal that at least 50 per cent of all trustees are nominated by members.

The survey also asked questions regarding conflicts of interests, composition of trustee boards, presence of directors on trustee boards, perceptions of member and employer-nominated and independent trustees. The full findings are available pre-embargo at: http://www.tuc.org.uk/extras/TUCSurvey.pdf

NOTES TO EDITORS:

- Punter Southall surveyed 51 members of the TUC Member Trustee Network in Feb 2006, half of the respondents oversee pension schemes with over 10,000 members.

Contacts:

Media enquiries: Ben Hurley T: 020 7467 1248; M: 07881 622416 ; E: bhurley@tuc.org.uk

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