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An individual or a company which, alone or jointly, becomes the legal owner of the Pension Scheme to be administered for the benefit of members (the beneficiaries), in accordance with provisions of the document creating the trust and the provisions of trust law generally and the Pensions Act. Trustees have a duty to act in the best interest of the members. Certain schemes, mainly in the public sector, are not set up under trust. In these cases, the Pensions Act includes the administrators of the schemes in its definition of Trustees.
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There is no limit as to how many trustees a scheme should have. Normally, a scheme will have either individual trustees (usually a minimum of two) or a separate trustee company. Whatever trustee arrangement is adopted, the trustees should be fully briefed on their statutory and legal duties as they could incur potentially significant liabilities if they fail to comply with any of their obligations.
An independent Trustee provides valuable services through their in depth understanding and expertise in the law relating to pensions and trusts, the principles relating to the funding of occupational pension schemes, as well as investment of the schemes assets.
Other tasks that a Trustee must complete are:
In the current economic and regulatory climate the appointment of a knowledgeable professional trustee is fast becoming the optimal solution for many companies.
At IFG we can offer this service ensuring impartiality in decision making and avoiding the requirement for senior company executives to become pension scheme trustees.
At IFG Trustee Services representatives are highly experienced pension consultants, well equipped in handling the complexities and time sensitive issues associated with managing pension schemes.
Yes. Members of schemes having 50 or more qualified members are entitled under the Pensions Act to select member trustees if they wish. This is not however a mandatory requirement. If a member trustee selection process is invoked under the Act, members can choose between having an election for member trustees or they can adopt an alternative trustee arrangement put forward by the employer. Otherwise, an employer can always propose a member trustee arrangement outside the terms of the statutory model.
Trustees generally do not carry out day to day business on the scheme themselves. More often than not they appoint a pensions consultant, professional administrator or a life assurance company. When the day to day running of a scheme is delegated the Trustee is still responsible for the scheme and must therefore ensure all the required duties are carried out.
Pension scheme trustees have duties under trust law, and these have been reinforced and added to by the Pensions Act, 1990. Trustees must maintain, at all times, a proper balance between protecting the members' interests and those of the employer financing the scheme.
Members may think that the people they have selected as trustees should negotiate improved benefits and entitlements under the scheme on their behalf, but trustees have no function in this area, and members should be in no doubt about this. The process of 'improving' a scheme can only be initiated by the members (or a union acting on their behalf) and/or the employer. Any changes to the scheme rules must be agreed by the trustees on either a unanimous basis or majority decision - depending on the rules of the scheme. Members must be informed of any changes to the scheme rules and/or the basic booklet that describes the scheme.
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"IFG Trustee Training is a good course to ensure that Trustees know and understand their role and responsibilities. This mandatory training was carried out by a highly experienced trainer in a very professional manner.
Emer Mullen, Trustee
Trustee - Sabeo Technologies
IFG Pensions, Investments & Advisory ServicesIFG House, Booterstown Hall, Booterstown, Co. Dublin, Irelandt + 353 (0)1 275 2800 f + 353 (0)1 275 2801 e email@example.com
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