While working as part of a team, as trustee we have overall governance responsibility and we need to ensure that the advisor and registered administrator / investment manager are delivering to a level which is consistent with member expectations. In addition, the employer has its role to fulfil.
At times, the governance responsibility of trusteeship can require trustees to take an assertive approach with other stakeholders. We will be assertive when we need to be but we also act proportionately and do not make an issue out of every single matter that crops up.
We view the avoidance of member surprises as a key priority and we work with providers and employers to ensure that there are adequate processes to ensure that employees are aware of what the scheme does and what it doesn’t do and each employee’s options within the scheme.
On appointment, we would firstly review the compliance of the scheme, which we would expect to be in order. We would also review any Service Level Agreements that are currently in place with existing service providers.
We would then review member communications with the view to ascertaining:
- Is there a clear scheme overview?
- Are members’ expected benefits fairly expressed?
- Likely value of benefits
- Options on retirement
- Are member options clear?
- Are the features of the various funds and their associated risks clear?
- Does the default investment strategy reflect recent trends?
- Is it clear that members may switch funds, and how they may do so?