MANAGING PENSIONS: ESSENTIALS FOR TRUSTEES
The role of trustees in pension scheme management is becoming increasingly critical in the pensions landscape. With the continual extension of liabilities caused by aging populations and low or negative investment returns, trustees must govern internal controls, ensuring that proper processes are in place to assure the continuation of an organisation in the long term.
In April 2018, Crown Agent’s designed and delivered a bespoke training programme for ten members of the Board of Trustees from the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The supranational nature of the African Union presents its own unique challenges to pension scheme governance and regulation, alongside the typical challenges faced by emerging markets. The programme was designed to equip the participants with specific skills to enable them to play their role effectively for the African Union.
Delivered in Dubai by pensions expert Duncan Hughes, the programme highlighted trustees’ regulatory and fiduciary responsibilities as well as addressing associated key technical knowledge requirements.
It provided holistic coverage of the range of risks faced in pension scheme management, in some cases taking delegates back to the basics of financial management, and examining bet practice cases studies from the US, Netherlands and Ghana. Ranging from fraud and operational risks through to the exponentially expanding gap between assets and liabilities, Duncan offered insights into bet practices in each area.
The training was found very useful by participants, with comments including:
“Very beneficial at a personal and institutional level.”
MILIMO NGULULU, Senior Treasury Finance Officer, African Union
Commenting on what the Trustees gained from the training, Dr. Frank Odoom, client liaison, said:
“The trainees understood the fiduciary responsibility placed on them as trustees, that they have to insist on the separation of the pension funds from the AU. They understood that getting the best return on the fund was paramount and thus their oversight over the investment activities of the fund was crucial… the fact that they clearly understand their roles and responsibility now is gratifying…”