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Independent trustee register
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is required by law to compile and maintain a register of independent trustees that satisfy certain conditions. TPR uses this register to appoint independent trustees to schemes. Appointments are usually made to ensure that the scheme is properly administered and its member’s benefits are protected when the employer is insolvent. However, TPR may also appoint a trustee to a scheme where it is satisfied that it is reasonable to do so in order:
- to secure that the trustees as a whole have, or exercise, the necessary knowledge and skill for the proper administration of the scheme;
- to secure that the number of trustees is sufficient for the proper administration of the scheme; or
- to secure the proper use or application of the assets of the scheme; or
- otherwise to protect the interests of the generality of the members of the scheme.
As TPR says on its website: Independent trustees are not required to be on the register, it is a voluntary decision, and being on the register does not guarantee appointments. Before making any appointment, TPR considers a scheme’s circumstances and requirements.
On 11 December 2009, TPR published a consultation document on proposed new criteria for assessing whether applicants to the independent trustee register have sufficient experience, sound administrative and accounting procedures and adequate indemnity insurance cover. Its response to this consultation was published in May 2010.
TPR has published guidance on how it will assess the judgment-based conditions, together with the new application form and guidance on completing the new form.