Would you want to be a lay trustee?

Pension scheme members expect much from an MNT and rightly so, and they often ask me if I get paid as a Trustee – and always surprised when I say no – wondering why I do such an increasingly challenging, time consuming and complex role for no monetary reward. Equally – the industry expects Trustees to be skilled enough to challenge their advisers and to adopt good scheme governance.

So, can we really continue the way we are – meeting 3 or 4 times a year with a quick one hour training session thrown in at the end for good measure, and if you are lucky - maybe completing some or all of the regulators toolkit? Is that really a minimum standard we should aspire too?

Most schemes struggle to find lay trustees to take on the role - I’m not surprised as it’s not a role for the faint hearted. If you designed a ‘job description’ for a lay trustee with all its roles, learning and understanding responsibilities, legalese and members expectations - then advertised it – how many applicants would you get?

The fact that anyone chooses to become an MNT tells me that altruism is not dead but we cannot continue to hope everything works out in the end – the role is too important. Fair proper remuneration and on-going CPD expectations for Trustees needs to happen soon to ensure we get the right people – who can make a difference.

John W Paradise
National Committee
AMNT (Association of Member Nominated Trustees)

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