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Govt and RBS scheme trustees partly to blame for Sir Fred’s £16m pension

Intelligent Pensions has slammed the Government as well as the trustees of the RBS pension scheme for allowing Sir Fred Goodwin to walk away with a £16m pension pot despite his “abject failure”.

Technical director David Trenner says the scheme trustees should be worried about claims from other members of the pension scheme.

He says: “This whole saga highlights a possible failure on the part of the scheme trustees to consider the position of all beneficiaries under the scheme apart from Goodwin. All pension schemes are written under a discretionary trust and governed by a trust deed and rules, and these will not allow the employer in isolation to augment a member’s pension, they must obtain the agreement of the trustees and the scheme actuary.

“It seems certain that these agreements were obtained as otherwise the trustees could be personally liable for the cost of the augmentation. It also seems likely that Government advisers did not know about the need to obtain these agreements as otherwise they would have asked to see the minutes of the relevant trustees meeting.

“So just as Goodwin seems to have failed in his due diligence investigations of ABN Amro, so too the Government has failed in its due diligence investigations into RBS. And the RBS pension trustees must be seriously worried about claims from other members should the pension scheme fail at any point in the near future.”


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England vs Australia: pensions

Well, the cricket season is here, and England and Australia are stepping up to the wicket. Although we compete with each other in the sporting world, when it comes to pensions, Australia’s pension programme is held up as a model for our auto-enrolment initiative. Auto-enrolment was introduced because people weren’t saving enough into their pensions, and it is still early days but signs are positive. However, in Australia, saving into a pension is compulsory, and in fact employers are the ones who have to pay in. Employees in Australia can make additional contributions into their pensions, but they don’t have to. Should the onus be on the employer or employee to save? Well in the UK we think it’s both, but to get ‘adequate’ savings for retirement it’s the employee who has to pay more in.


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