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7.0 Introduction

This section covers:


the purpose and organisation of trustee meetings, and pattern of trustees' business (annual and routine) 


appointment of chairman of the trustees


duties of the secretary to the trustees, and 


quorum and frequency of meetings.



Advance notice of trustees’ meetings

When a trustees’ meeting is due to take place, notice of the meeting has to be given to each trustee no later than ten business days before the meeting. The notice must specify the date, time and place of the meeting.

The ten-day deadline is not mandatory where the trustees agree it need not be in place. But the deadline for giving notice is mandatory where a majority-voting basis applies.

Under trust law, trustees are not obliged to meet to conduct their business but, of course, it makes sense to meet regularly to keep informed and to formally minute actions and decisions taken. Note: minutes are not deemed to be a formal record of proceedings until approved by and signed on behalf of the trustees, normally by the chairman of the meeting at which the minutes are approved [see 7.2.1 (Note)].

Other trust documents

Members and beneficiaries are entitled to see trust documents. Trust documents have been held to include minutes and letters of formal advice from advisers. However, it has been held that trust documents do not have to extend to giving explanations of decisions exercised by trustees. In other words, trust law does not impose an obligation on trustees to disclose the reasons behind their discretionary decisions, unless such reasons are minuted. [But see also Appendix I1.2 (Note) about making minutes available.]

Regular key reports

Trustees should expect to receive regular financial reports (particularly monitoring the timeliness of receipt of contributions). Suggestions on the content of routine reports are included [see 7.1.8], along with suggestions on how the chairman of the trustees might wish to be briefed ahead of trustees’ meetings [see 7.3.7].

Appointment of Chairman of the trustees    
The Chairman of the trustees is normally appointed in the manner described in the scheme’s trust deed and rules. The Chairman’s working terms of reference (or ‘job description’) would normally be approved either by the Principal Employer or by the trustees, or both (having regard to the deed and rules) [see 7.3]In the case of Defined Contribution schemes the requirement for a Chair of trustees is now enshrined in law (Regulation 22(1) Occupational Pensions Schemes (Scheme Administration) Regulations 1996) and aspects of their role determined by The Pensions Regulator [see 7.3.3].

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