The Pensions Regulator has now published guidance for trustees and employers on equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI). The guidance explains what EDI is, why it is important for pension schemes to improve EDI in their trustee boards and how trustees and employers can do so.
Guidance for trustees
The guidance for trustees provides practical ways and examples to help trustee boards and those with the power to appoint trustees to improve EDI. It covers:
- The role of the trustee chair in promoting EDI.
- Getting started with EDI.
- Reviewing diversity on the trustee board.
- Encouraging an inclusive trustee board culture.
- Ways to attract more diverse trustee candidates.
- Other ways to improve diversity of thought.
Guidance for employers
The guidance for employers provides practical steps to help employers improve EDI on the trustee board through recruitment and by ensuring their staff have sufficient time to carry out their role on the trustee board. It covers:
- How a diverse trustee board improves decision-making.
- First steps when considering trustee recruitment.
- Who can be a member of the trustee board.
- Who should be on the trustee board.
- Appointing the trustee chair.
- Appointing professional trustees.
- Key issues that employers should consider when appointing employer-nominated trustees.
The guidance provides trustees and employers with a wide range of EDI areas to consider. Trustee boards will invariably be at different stages in their EDI journeys, and how trustees and employers respond will depend on where they are in their journey. As a starting point, there are some practical issues which can be considered by trustees:
- What their EDI strategy should be.
- Putting in place an EDI policy if they do not already have one (or updating their existing policy).
- The composition of the scheme membership in terms of EDI to better understand how EDI would work.
- Review of the Regulator’s guidance and how this impacts on their approach to EDI.
- Involvement of the employer in their discussions on EDI and, where possible, leveraging any knowledge and expertise that the employer has in EDI.
- Training needs on EDI.
- The scheme’s MNT/MND arrangements in light of EDI and any revisions to implement the EDI strategy.
Mayer Brown will be producing a guide to EDI in pension schemes.