Hi, my name is Joey Patel and I'm a policy lead in the public service pension schemes team at the Pensions Regulator.
From April 2015 we will have new powers for regulating the governance and administration of the new public service pension schemes. To help schemes comply with the new legislation, we've produced a new code of practice.
So today I'd like to give you an overview of the code and also talk about the other support we can provide to help you to ensure that your scheme is governed efficiently and effectively.
The code, which comes into force on the 1 April, is aimed at scheme managers and pension board members and is designed to provide practical guidance to help schemes meet the main governance and administration requirements. The code outlines the standards of conduct and practice we expect to see and how to approach issues such as conflicts of interest, managing risks, record keeping, member communications and managing contributions. The code also includes guidance on the legal requirement for board members to have knowledge and understanding of relevant pensions law and their own scheme rules.
Pension board members need to invest time in their learning and development to ensure that their knowledge and understanding is current and up to date. This should be reviewed on a regular basis and schemes need to keep track of the training and other learning activities undertaken by board members.
To support board members in building their knowledge we have launched a public service toolkit. The toolkit is free to use and is available both online and in a downloadable format. The toolkit is split into seven courses which are aligned to the code of practice.
The courses can be completed in any order and each course consists of several activities such as an e-learning tutorial, a case study and an assessment to test your knowledge. There is also a check your scheme worksheet so you then can apply your knowledge to your own scheme. The case studies, exercises and scenarios can also be used by groups, for example the whole board, to see how new processes might work in practice. Overall each module should take no more than an hour to complete.
As a first step before starting the toolkit, you could use our learning needs analysis tool, which lists some of the key areas of knowledge board members should have and allows individuals to see where training needs exist.
The toolkit and the learning needs analysis tool are available on our website, which has a whole section dedicated to public service pension schemes plus various guides and further support.
Many thanks for listening and if you want any more information please visit our website.