Pension Trustee and Trustee Chair (volunteer roles)

Energy Institute Pension and Dependants Benefit Plan

The EI is seeking a Pension Trustee and a Trustee Chair (volunteer roles)

In addition to the pension trustee role, duties, and responsibilities below, the role of the Chair will provide leadership and direction to the board of trustees. The Chair’s aim is to enable the board to fulfil their responsibilities for the overall governance and strategic direction of the Plan. The Chair will ensure that the Plan complies with Trust Deed and rules and any other relevant legislation or regulations and to make sure that the Plan pursues its objectives as defined in its constitution.
The Chair's role will work in partnership with the board of trustees and professional advisors, helping to achieve the goals of the Plan.

Pension Trustee role, duties, and responsibilities

The EI Defined Benefit plan (EIDB) currently has the following constitution of trustees:

  • One Member-nominated trustee (MNT) – The MNT is appointed for a term of 3 years. Appointments are made by the Trustee Board following a member involved nomination process and a selection panel.
  • Two Employer-nominated trustees (ENTs) – ENTs are volunteers from partner energy companies with defined benefit schemes. Trustees of larger corporate schemes volunteer their time and pension knowledge of DB schemes to the charity.

Your role in the EI defined benefit (DB) Plan

As a trustee, you have a responsibility to ensure there is enough money in the scheme to pay members’ pensions as and when they need to be paid.

To see how much money is in the scheme, you have to arrange for a valuation to be carried out, no less than once every three years. This assesses the assets and the liabilities of the scheme. You need to appoint a scheme actuary to carry out this process. If the scheme is not fully funded, you must draw up a recovery plan and submit it to the regulator within 15 months of the effective date of the valuation.

The recovery plan sets out how much will be paid into the scheme and over what period. Trustees will agree the recovery plan with the sponsoring employer.

You also have to be responsible for monitoring scheme investments and keeping an eye on the financial strength and health of the employer who is standing behind the scheme.

Duties and powers

You’ll have a number of key duties as a trustee.

  • Act in line with the trust deed and rules
  • Act prudently, responsibly, and honestly
  • Act in the best interests of your beneficiaries
  • Act impartially

The trust deed and rules give you powers, some of which will be discretionary. The trust deed includes the power to:

  • accept contributions into the scheme
  • decide the investment strategy
  • invest the scheme's assets
  • amend the rules of the scheme
  • Review and agree triennial valuations
  • increase (or 'augment') members' benefits
  • deal with a funding surplus/deficit
  • wind up a scheme

In some instances, the trust deed or rules state that the employer has to agree to your use of a particular power, or that you may only use the power if the employer asks you to do so.

You’ll have some discretionary powers, like deciding who will receive a dependant's pension. You must follow the procedures set out in the trust deed and rules when considering whether to use a discretionary power.

Responsibilities

You are responsible for:

  • contributions
  • financial records and requirements
  • investment
  • your professional advisers and service providers
  • pension scheme records
  • members
  • registration, scheme return and collecting levy
  • reporting certain matters to the regulator

Delegated duties

As a trustee, you are accountable for operations and activities, focusing on strategic issues and considering whether to delegate some day-to-day activities and decision-making.

EIDB delegated duties include:

  • Actuarial advice and valuations
  • Investment strategy advice
  • Investment management
  • Administration and payroll
  • Legal advice and producing deed amendments
  • Accounting and Audit

Trustees will be required to attend regular training and complete the pension regulators Trustee Toolkit.

Applications can be emailed to hr2@energyinst.org by 16 May 2022

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