What does a scheme secretary do?
For a start it's not all about arranging and managing meetings. A scheme secretary is a specialist role, similar in many ways to a company secretary. The role carries an extraordinary amount of legal, compliance and governance responsibilities. Of course a scheme secretary doesn't act alone as other members of a scheme's trustee board also carry some of the ever-increasing workload such as keeping up-to-date with pension, taxation and benefits legislation, the codes of practice and reporting requirements from the Pensions Regulator, but most importantly ensuring that the scheme is managed for the benefit of the scheme's beneficiaries.
Why appoint an independent scheme secretary?
An independent secretary is likely to act for other schemes, sometimes just as an independent trustee but more often as a joint appointment. This means that they will have a wider knowledge of the pensions market and what other schemes and employers are doing . A specialist scheme secretary can help scheme trustee boards in meeting challenges that all schemes face by developing a robust and workable governance framework.
What attributes should an independent scheme secretary have?
This is a very important role and the individual should possess strong organisational skills combined with up-to-date pensions knowledge.
What can Caledonian Trustees do for your scheme?
When you appoint Caledonian Trustees as your Scheme Secretary we can provide a number of key scheme management services, these include:
- Manage trustee meetings: prepare agendas and briefing notes on each agenda point
- Governance framework: Help you define the structure of the scheme board (including member nominated trustees, corporate trustees and any sub committees);
- Adviser management: Manage provider relationships, contract negotiation and performance monitoring
- Budget control: Assist the board with fees and budgetary management
- Communication: Provide clear communication for the trustees, members and other beneficiaries;
- Governance: Liaise with the Pensions Regulator (reporting requirements), maintain the annual business plan
- Project management: support for ad-hoc, non-standard exercises.
- Trustee knowledge & understanding: Keep you scheme up-to-date with legislation, codes of practice and taxation changes;
- Dispute management: Provide independent dispute resolution support.