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Key points

  • Use our Trustee toolkit (or equivalent) to gain the required trustee knowledge and understanding.
  • Codes of practice set out the standards of conduct and practice that we expect you to meet when complying with pensions legislation.
  • Code-related guidance provides further detail on areas covered by codes of practice.
  • Regulatory guidance helps you understand how to demonstrate good practice in the governance and administration of pension schemes and how to meet the standards set out in our codes.

Trustee toolkit

The Trustee toolkit is a key source of knowledge and understanding for trustees. It’s a free online training course that addresses the knowledge and understanding required by trustees.

Within six months of becoming a trustee you must either complete the Trustee toolkit or be able to demonstrate how else you have gained the required knowledge and understanding, such as having a Pensions Management Institute qualification or equivalent knowledge.

Directors of corporate trustees should also ensure they meet the trustee knowledge and understanding requirements.

You can also use the Trustee toolkit for:

  • refresher training on areas of scheme governance and administration that you’re less familiar with
  • professional development
  • keeping up to date with changes to legal requirements and good practice.

Trustee toolkit online learning

Go to the Trustee toolkit We provide a free online learning programme called the Trustee toolkit which you should complete, unless you arrange the equivalent learning. You must login or sign up to use the Trustee toolkit.

Codes of practice

Codes of practice provide practical guidelines on the requirements of pensions legislation. They set out the standards of conduct and practice that we expect you to meet when complying with your legal duties.

You don’t have to follow a code of practice in every circumstance. However, you must ensure that any alternative approach meets the requirements of the legislation underpinning the code of practice.

If we issue an improvement notice we may direct you to take, or refrain from taking, steps based on the provisions of a code of practice.

Some codes apply to all schemes, eg trustee knowledge and understanding, some apply to schemes offering defined contribution (DC) benefits, eg the DC code, and some apply to schemes offering defined benefits (DB), eg funding defined benefits. Where a scheme offers both types of benefit, both DC and DB codes are relevant.

Code-related guidance

Some codes of practice need further explanation on areas that they cover. This detail is contained within code-related guidance. For example, the code-related guidance on complying with the duty to report breaches of the law contains examples of when you do and don’t need to report breaches to us.

Regulatory guidance

Regulatory guidance is good practice guidance that provides information, education and assistance. It is intended to help you understand how to demonstrate good practice in the governance and administration of pension schemes and how to meet the standards set out in our codes.

Some regulatory guidance applies to all schemes, eg record-keeping, some only applies to schemes offering DC benefits, eg the value for members guide, and some only applies to schemes offering DB benefits, eg clearance. Where a scheme offers both types of benefit, both DC and DB guidance is relevant.

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