I have appointed BESTrustees. What happens next?

When we are appointed to a new scheme, we review the scheme’s documents and talk to those involved in the scheme’s day-to-day running to understand its procedures and operations. Drawing on our 30 years of experience with other schemes, we then suggest any changes needed to improve existing operations and make them more cost-effective and efficient.

This allows us to check that all duties are being performed in accordance with legal obligations and that  members’ expectations are being met. It also creates an opportunity for us to become familiar with the scheme, its administration and its advisers.

When selecting an independent trustee for my pension scheme, how can I ensure I avoid conflicts of interest?

We believe it is important to select a firm of trustees that has no business ties with any other advisory firm. BESTrustees is independently owned, and we restrict our activities to pension scheme trusteeship and associated services. This means our clients can rest assured that our interests and theirs are aligned.

Which complementary services can BESTrustees provide in addition to pension trusteeship?

We provide trustee and associated governance services for all types of pension arrangements. This means that we focus on working with pension schemes as a member of the trustee board. However, we can also act as: chair of trustees, sole trustee, statutory independent trustee and adviser to the trustees. Our 30 years of experience in pensions means we have expertise in a range of areas, including DC governance, covenant assessment, investment management and the law.

Do you offer a scheme secretary service?

BESTrustees only provides professional pension scheme trusteeship, but we recognise that scheme secretarial services are linked to the work of an independent trustee. When we are asked to provide a scheme secretary, we partner with a specialised third-party scheme secretarial provider. Our partner provides an experienced pensions professional who  understands trustee demands and can deliver a timely service.

What is sole trusteeship and how does it work?

Sole trusteeship is a new model of trusteeship, whereby a single trustee assumes responsibility and accountability for all the governance activity in a scheme.

It solves the problem of recruiting new members to the trustee board with the appropriate pensions expertise and keeping them up to date with changes to industry regulation, especially on governance and investment.

Decision-making is streamlined, urgent scheme matters are dealt with quickly, conflicts are avoided and adviser costs may be reduced, but governance is never compromised.

Will we be able to choose the most suitable trustee from  the BESTrustees team?

We usually recommend a trustee to our clients with the skills and experience that suits their scheme best. However, we are also happy to provide a selection of trustees. This allows the pension scheme to choose the trustee with the necessary experience and the best rapport with the board.

As a sponsor, how can I be sure the trustee will take a balanced approach?

We understand the importance of adopting a balanced approach. We strive to safeguard the interests of the beneficiaries, while taking account of the needs and responsibilities of our fellow trustees and the sponsoring company. We understand that the sponsor provides crucial support to the pension scheme and that its financial health and stability are critical to its ability to do this.

How can BESTrustees help me minimise my scheme’s running costs?

We can help you manage and minimise your scheme’s running costs by getting the best from your advisers. All schemes need to use advisers. Advisers are experts in their fields but often do not have experience of other areas of scheme management. With our broad skill set, we can ensure that your scheme takes advice when required and obtains maximum value from that advice.

Can BESTrustees provide client recommendations?

With over 30 years of experience, we have worked with a range of small and large clients and seen all possible pensions scenarios. We would be delighted to discuss our experience with you, find out more about your needs and put you in contact with clients we have helped in similar scenarios.

Which size of schemes use BESTrustees?

No scheme is too small or too large for BESTrustees. Our clients include all sizes of scheme. Scheme needs are often similar regardless of size, and we use our experience with large schemes to assist smaller schemes.

How does BESTrustees determine its fees?

We prefer to work on a fixed-fee basis. However, we have a standard hourly rate for clients who prefer to be billed by the hour.

We always discuss an assignment and agree the scope and fees with our client before starting work. We believe it is important to have both flexible working practices and transparent billing. When working with BESTrustees, our clients can be confident that there will be no unpleasant surprises.