PMI to accredit lay trustees

The Pensions Management Institute (PMI) has announced that it is launching a new accreditation regime for lay pension trustees.

The new regime follows the PMI’s accreditation programme for professional trustees, APTitude, that was launched last year.

Applicants seeking accreditation will need to complete The Pensions Regulator’s (TPR) Trustee Toolkit and both parts of the PMI’s Certificate of Pension Trusteeship to be approved, which the PMI said will ensure that accredited lay trustees demonstrate professional standards.

To maintain their accredited status, lay trustees will be required to complete 15 hours of relevant Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and any new or updated modules in the regulator’s Trustee Toolkit.

The PMI said that the accreditation programme was developed to enable lay trustees to “demonstrate a high degree of competence in driving best practice decision-making and so they can navigate the complex challenges of modern scheme governance”.

“TPR rightly expects trustees to meet high standards of trusteeship, governance and administration and welcomes initiatives such as the PMI’s accreditation scheme,” commented TPR executive director of regulatory policy and advice, David Fairs.
“Every saver deserves to be in a well-run, well-governed pension scheme. Our Corporate Plan is clear that one of our top priorities is to ensure decisions made on behalf of pension savers are in their best interests. 
“To properly consider what’s in members’ interests, trustees need the appropriate level of knowledge and understanding. With the Pension Schemes Act including new duties on climate change and stopping scams, the degree of knowledge trustees need is likely to increase.”

PMI CEO, Gareth Tancred, added: “As the official qualifications provider for pension trustees, we’ve created this new accreditation to help raise standards and promote excellence within the industry.

“Our accreditation programme for lay trustees is built to professional trusteeship standards. We’re committed to maintaining the strength of this accreditation by continuing to meet the ongoing development needs of trustees.”

The accreditation is now open for applicants, with successful trustees receiving an annual certificate and the option of being listed on an online register.

Association of Member Nominated Trustees (AMNT) co-chair, David Weeks, said: “AMNT members are recognised across the occupational pensions sector for the experience and commitment that they bring to good scheme governance.

“TPR’s recent consultation exercise confirmed the widespread support for the MNT role that exists across the industry. AMNT now welcomes PMI’s new accreditation scheme, which gives formal parity of esteem between lay and specialist trustees. We look forward to working with PMI to see how best to put the scheme into operation.”

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