As trustees of a pension scheme, you are required to act in the best interests of scheme beneficiaries.

These include active, pensioner and deferred members. Furthermore, the widows and widowers of scheme members as well as their financial dependants.

The Pension Regulator’s Trustee Guidance provides a detailed overview of the responsibilities involved for the proper running of the scheme.
Many of the duties arise from trust law and are known as your ‘fiduciary responsibilities’.

In this article, we will explore how pension data specialists, such as MM. assist trustees in discovering undeclared spouses, tracing potential beneficiaries, confirming member addresses, and conducting mortality screening exercises, in accordance with the Pension Regulator’s Trustee Guidance.

Discovering Undeclared Spouses for Accurate De-Risking Assessments:

During de-risking exercises, accurately assessing a scheme’s liabilities is critical.
Undeclared spouses and financial dependants can have a significant impact on these assessments, as their entitlement to benefits needs to be considered.
MM. Spouse helps trace and append spouse information by utilizing advanced techniques and comprehensive data sources. By including undeclared spouses in the assessment process, trustees can obtain a more accurate picture of the scheme’s liabilities and ensure compliance with the Pension Regulator’s Trustee Guidance.

Tracing Potential Beneficiaries for Fair Distribution of Death Benefits:

In the unfortunate event of a member’s death, it is essential to identify and locate all potential beneficiaries entitled to receive death benefits. Trustees have a duty to ensure that the distribution process is fair and inclusive. MM. play a crucial role in this process by utilising our data assets and product suite to trace beneficiaries. By conducting comprehensive searches and analysing relevant data, MM. identify eligible recipients such as spouses, dependents, children and other entitled individuals. Through a partnership with MM., trustees can uphold fairness and adhere to the Pension Regulator’s Trustee Guidance in the distribution of death benefits.

Confirming Member Addresses for Proper Record Keeping:

Accurate and up-to-date member records are vital for trustees to fulfil their duties effectively. However, members’ addresses and contact details change over time, making record keeping challenging. MM. Residence provides your scheme services to trace members and confirm their addresses. By utilizing various databases and financial records, these specialists locate members and ensure their contact information is accurate and up to date. Through partnership with pension data specialists, trustees can meet the record keeping requirements outlined in the Pension Regulator’s Trustee Guidance, improving communication with members and facilitating efficient scheme administration.

Conducting Mortality Screening Exercises to Prevent Fraud and Reduce Overpayments:

Preventing fraudulent claims and overpayments to deceased members is crucial to protect the scheme’s assets. Trustees are responsible for maintaining the integrity of the scheme and adhering to the Pension Regulator’s Trustee Guidance.
MM. Existence identifies deceased members within the scheme’s membership. By analysing data and cross-referencing it with the GRO’s DDRI file to which MM has a direct licence with the UK government. This reduces the possibility of fraud or errors in benefit payments to deceased members. Regular mortality screening exercises assist trustees in preventing fraud, eliminating overpayments, and ensuring compliance.

In line with the Pension Regulator’s Trustee Guidance, trustees have a range of duties and responsibilities to fulfil for the benefit of scheme beneficiaries. Engaging the expertise of MM. can significantly support trustees in meeting these obligations. By discovering undeclared spouses, tracing potential beneficiaries, confirming member addresses, and conducting mortality screening exercises, trustees can enhance the accuracy of de-risking assessments, ensure fair distribution of death benefits, maintain proper record keeping, and prevent fraud and overpayments.

By partnering with MM., trustees demonstrate their commitment to fulfilling their duties and safeguarding the interests of scheme beneficiaries as prescribed by the Pension Regulator’s Trustee Guidance.