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PMI and APPT launch joint consultation to introduce Diploma in Pension Trusteeship

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The Association of Professional Pension Trustees (APPT) Council and the Pensions Management Institute (PMI) have launched a joint consultation document regarding the introduction of a Diploma in Pension Trusteeship which has been welcomed by the Pensions Regulator. 

The Diploma will be designed to help independent professional trustees demonstrate that they are able to meet the increasing demands and challenges of 21st Century Trusteeship. 
 
The role of the trustee has changed over the last decade and will continue to change as the world of pensions evolves. As a result, the skills required of a pension trustee are more and more demanding and are under increased scrutiny. This means that individuals acting as trustees and particularly those practising as professional trustees (advising one or a number of pensions boards) in this area need a higher degree of expertise and professionalism and increasingly need to evidence the same.
 
A working group from the PMI and the APPT have worked collaboratively to put together a proposal that meets the needs of the profession and is a recognised qualification in its own right.
 
Andrew Warwick Thompson, Executive Director for Regulatory Policy, the Pensions Regulator said: “We welcome this consultation from the APPT and PMI launched today. We expect higher standards of professional trustees and this qualification would help professional trustees demonstrate their knowledge and commitment. Effective trustee boards form the backbone of a healthy pension system where the board as a whole has sufficient knowledge and skills to manage schemes effectively. We firmly believe that boards work best when there is a diverse mix of motivated trustees – lay and professional – with a balance of interests, skills and personalities with a strong chair to lead, guide and challenge their thinking.”
 
Ian Pittaway, Chairperson of the APPT Council, says: "This is an important step forward for those who provide professional independent trustee services. One of the APPT's key objectives is to ensure that our members adhere to the highest possible standards and are well placed to meet the demands of 21st Century Trusteeship. The Diploma in Pension Trusteeship will play a key role in meeting this objective."
 
Kevin LeGrand (pictured), PMI President, says: “The role of trustees has never been more important than it is now.  With auto enrolment, we have an ever increasing number of members reliant on well-run pension schemes, whilst at the same time, we have seen many more pensions schemes find themselves in deficit. We have increasingly seen the role of the independent trustee change over the past decade to the point that today, trustees quite literally have the future retirement prospects of members in their hands. The time is now right to set a new benchmark of transparency and governance for professional trustees.”

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