Pension Trustee Training – are you up to date?

Jul 25, 2018

In previous blogs we have covered:

Having a trustee business plan – read the blog here
Pension scheme risk registers – read the blog here
Conflicts of interest – read the blog here 

This month, we are going to look at Pension Trustee training.

Trusteeship in pensions has never been under more pressure and consequently training has never been as important to the role as now.

There are two elements to training:

  • When you initially become a trustee
  • On-going training

Read here how we’ve worked with trustees to help with training requirements when we were appointed to the Trustee Board

New trustee training requirements

As a new trustee, you have six months to get up to speed on the requirements of a trustee.

There is a lot of work involved in this including having a full understanding of:

  •  the trust deed and rules of the scheme
  •  the scheme investment strategy
  •  the statement of funding principles (defined benefit schemes only)
The documents that will help you with this include:
  • trust deed and rules
  • minutes of meetings
  • any scheme booklet
  • the annual report and accounts
  • any other relevant scheme documents, like the business plan.

TPR has an excellent ‘Tool Kit’ to help you with this – click here to view

One of the pension industry’s best kept secrets is membership of The PMI Trustee Group. For a very modest sum (£80 per trustee), trustees have access to two free excellent conferences a year, receive the monthly PMI magazine and have the opportunity to interact with fellow trustees.

Our clients and trustees to whom we have recommended this to have all been very positive about the PMI Trustee Group – why not give a try?

More details can be found here

Existing trustee requirements

It’s not enough to have done the initial training, as a Trustee, you are expected to keep up to date with legislation and any changes that may affect your scheme.

Again, there are two elements to this:

  • Your training needs as an individual trustee
  • The training needs of the Board to ensure there is a diversity of experience and skills on the Board
There are lots of opportunities for training out there many of them free and run by scheme advisers and magazines, such as Professional Pensions, Pensions Age etc. We’ve spoken before about the value of ‘Just in time’ training particularly for projects such as valuations or buy-in’s.

Managing trustee training

Plan for new trustees
Have a plan in place to support new trustees with resources, access to the right documentation and a mentoring process to help the new trustee get fully trained as soon as is practicably possible (and certainly within the six month window stipulated by TPR).

Better still is if you can get them started on the training before they officially join the board so they can hit the ground running.

Training needs analysis
It’s worth carrying out a training needs analysis on a regular basis – once a year is good practice and that’s what we at CBC recommend and carry out on our trustee boards. We use a comprehensive training needs matrix with our trustee boards and here’s an example of a section of it. 

Training logs
It is essential to keep training logs to provide evidence of the training you have undertaken.
We’ve created a template for you to view and download here


In pensions where the landscape changes so fast and new products and investment opportunities come onto the market so rapidly, Trustee training is not a nice to have – it has to have a high priority.

This is an additional challenge for the busy trustee, but in our experience, making time for this pays dividends in the long run and is another big tick in the box for keeping our friends in Brighton happy as well as providing trustees with greater confidence that they are doing the right thing and the right time.

People that read this blog also read these case studies

Your trustee board is constantly changing
Your trustee board doesn’t have the knowledge or experience


If you need help with understanding your training needs, please contact us for a free, no obligation chat.



T  08454 334 199


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