The Pensions Regulator has unveiled plans to contact a large number of schemes to test trustee knowledge and understanding, once it has updated its code of practice.
In a consultation response published in February, the regulator said it would consider taking “appropriate action” against those schemes that failed knowledge tests.
It said it would update the code of practice to reflect changes in the law and risks facing pension schemes in the 15 years since the guidelines were written, including differentiating expectations by trustee role-type and type of scheme.
However, the regulator backed away from proposals to force schemes to appoint professional trustees, following industry complaints that the measures would be too costly and that there was a lack of appropriate expertise to fulfil the roles.
Executive director of policy at TPR, David Fairs, said: “We have listened carefully to what the industry has told us, and we are not at this stage going to introduce new measures in areas such as sole trusteeship and adding a professional trustee to boards.”
However, the regulator will continue to monitor standards closely to ensure expectations for scheme governance are met and that the right action is taken where schemes do not improve, Fairs said.