Sunday, July 08, 2012

AMNT newsletter – July 2012: meeting review; trustee guide discount

 Dear member,

Two weeks ago the AMNT hosted its summer members’ meeting with a number of topical discussions and presentations.

The event, which took place at AXA Investment Managers’ London offices in Newgate Street, began with a presentation by co-chairs Barry Parr and Janice Turner on the association’s latest developments.

Copies were distributed of AMNT’s recent submissions to the Dept for Work and Pensions inquiry into occupational pension schemes and to the Red Tape Challenge. We reflected the consensus of  all our meetings and called for DB trustees to be given the option of using smoothing when carrying out our triennial reviews.

DC trustees were updated on the discussions going on within the pensions industry, in which AMNT is participating, on development of a better type of DC scheme.

These included the finalisation of the constitution, an update on the AMNT’s lobbying activities and an insight into the potential sponsorship opportunities the association is in the process of finalising.

Then committee member Owen Walker gave a presentation on the development of the website.

This was followed by AMNT member and chief executive of FairPensions Catherine Howarth giving a presentation on the shareholder spring and how this affects trustees.

FairPensions has produced a briefing on executive pay, which has been designed with busy trustees in mind.

The idea is to make something available which gives trustees some handy questions they can ask fund managers if they want to be sure that a tough line is being taken on executive pay packages.

You can read it here: http://www.fairpensions.org.uk/sites/default/files/uploaded_files/investorresources/ExecutivePay2012.pdf

Members were then given a presentation by an AXA IM spokesperson on how investment companies can also help trustees to improve their shareholder engagement.

The meeting then split into breakout groups, focused on DB and DC issues.

The working group on defined benefit pensions concentrated on discussing a draft produced by DB working group chair John Gray on what to do if your scheme sponsor announces they want to close the scheme.

This draft is at an early stage and John Gray (john.gray@amnt.org) is very keen to hear from you if you have been through this process, regardless of whether the scheme closed or stayed open.

We are now revising the draft guide, carrying out further research and checking and we hope to circulate it to everyone in the near future. If you are interested in contributing to it please contact John.

After the break, members received a presentation by friend of the association and executive director of OPDU Jonathan Bull on the benefits trustees can receive of indemnity insurance.

Jonathan’s presentation can be downloaded by clicking here.

30% discount on trustee guide

The publishers of The Guide for Pension Trustees are offering AMNT members 30% off this publication which is on the reading list for the PMI trustees’ qualifications. The Guide is a practical and comprehensive manual for all pension trustees.

It contains the essential practical, legal and commercial information that trustees need in order to perform their roles efficiently, accurately and lawfully. You will receive free quarterly updates of the guide, reflecting the latest developments in the sector, and you will have free access to the guide online, which includes additional modules and data tables.

It normally costs £265 but the AMNT discount brings this down to £185.50, and all those taking up this offer will also receive a free copy of the Pensions Pocket Book 2012, which normally retails for £47.50. To obtain the discount you have to quote offer code GPTCW110 when you order. Telephone 01235 465 574, fax 01235 46556 or email subscriptions@marston.co.uk.

Ask your fellow MNTs to join us

The meeting was delighted to hear that AMNT has now grown to about 240 members, and we are responsible for pension funds with collective assets of an estimated £200-billion.

The more members we have the stronger our voice will be in putting forward your concerns to the industry, the regulators and the government, so if you could suggest to your fellow MNTs to join us that would really help.

Kind regards, AMNT Committee

(I posted this late so had to take out an invite to a conference that was out of date)
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