Trustee Knowledge and Understanding (TKU)

The following Pensions practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Trustee Knowledge and Understanding (TKU)
  • The TKU framework
  • Which trustees are subject to the TKU duty?
  • Individual and corporate trustees
  • Members of the pension board of a public service pension scheme
  • Professional trustees
  • Exemption to the TKU duty
  • Scope of the TKU duty
  • Being 'conversant with' scheme documentation
  • Knowing and understanding trusts law
  • More...

Trustee Knowledge and Understanding (TKU)

FORTHCOMING DEVELOPMENT: On 10 February 2020, the Pensions Regulator (TPR) published the response  to its consultation on the future of trusteeship and governance. Among other things, TPR intends to review and update its TKU Code of Practice, scoping guidance and other supporting materials. In particular TPR will seek to simplify how it presents TKU expectations, so these are differentiated by trustee role-type (eg lay trustees, chairs and professional trustees) and type of scheme (DB, DC and public service schemes). TPR will also look to articulate a range of acceptable methods for demonstrating TKU (eg by completing the Trustee toolkit or through professional trustee accreditation) when it reviews and revises TKU content and related guidance. TPR will also explore whether to set an indicative number of hours for ongoing learning (eg 15 hours per year for lay trustees and 25 hours per year for professional trustees) and types of activities that count towards learning. TPR hopes to consult on its revised TKU content by November 2020. For more information, see News Analysis: TPR publishes response to consultation on future of trusteeship and governance.

Pension scheme trustees—including directors of corporate trustees and, since 1 April 2015, trustees of public service pension schemes—have a statutory duty to gain a certain level of knowledge and understanding (unless they benefit from

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