Courtaulds employee forum examines pension provider and legislation

Courtaulds is using its employee forum to review the performance of its pension provider and assess the impact of forthcoming pension reforms and legislative changes.

The forum, which acts as a governance body for the textiles firm’s group personal pension (GPP) plan and comprises employees, union representatives, board members, HR and finance staff, is monitoring provider Friends Provident since it was acquired by Resolution.

Areas that will be examined by the forum include Friends Provident’s financial strength, the ease with which contributions are processed and how investments are made, plus administration processes and the number of investment choices on offer. The scheme’s financial rating and member communication will also be considered.

Nicola Nicklin, corporate pension sales and strategy manager at Friends Provident, said: “We support active governance of employee benefit provision and successful governance means identifying any potential risks to scheme members and employers. We would expect a governance committee agenda to cover any significant changes to the provider of the pension arrangement.”

Courtaulds’ forum will also look at the potential impact of the 2012 pension reforms, including the national employment savings trust (Nest) and auto-enrolment.

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The National Association of Pension Funds has awarded Courtaulds a Pensions Quality Mark for its GPP, introduced in 2006. Richard Cowlishaw, Courtaulds’ HR director, said: “We spent a lot of time searching for a best-in-class scheme.”

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