Pension industry bodies have come together to work collaboratively with the goal of establishing a set of fit and proper protocols to be met by professional trustees.
The Professional Trustee Standards Working Group has been created following a recommendation by The Pensions Regulator that the trustee bodies across the pension industry come together to lead the way in setting standards that professional trustees are expected to meet.
The group is chaired by Andrew Bradshaw, Association of Professional Pension Trustees (APPT) council member and Ross Trustees director, with representatives from The Pensions Regulator (TPR), APPT, The Association of Corporate Trustees (TACT), Pensions Management Institute (PMI) and Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA).
With the growing influence of professional trustees on trustee boards, the body stated it has become increasingly clear that a form of universally recognised professional standards need to be adopted by the industry.
Members of the group will work collaboratively with the aim of producing a set of 'Fit and Proper' protocols.
The group will also be consulting with members of the profession before the protocols are adopted.
Professional trustees will be encouraged by The Pensions Regulator to adhere to the protocols.
The fit and proper protocols will cover competencies, experience and professionalism.
There is also a recognition that different requirements will apply to chairs, non-chairs and sole trusteeships and the protocols will look to address this.
Mr Bradshaw said: "The group is committed to ensuring the highest standards of behaviour among the professional trustee community.
"Establishing a set of industry wide Fit and Proper Protocols which are endorsed by The Pensions Regulator will be a significant step forward.
"I am pleased to confirm that the group is up and running and we hope to make significant progress over the coming months."
Lesley Titcomb, chief executive of The Pensions Regulator, said: “We know from our 21st century trustee research that professional trustees on pension boards have a positive effect on governance and administration.
"We want to see trustees who are a knowledgeable, empowered first line of defence for pension scheme members. Our survey, published today, shows professional trustees have an influence on many thousands of schemes.
"We look forward to working with the industry group to produce clear, succinct standards and accreditation for professional trustees, helping employers and schemes to engage high-quality professionals and deliver good outcomes for members.”