From time to time there will be a need to appoint new trustees. This might be due to reasons such as leaving or retirement, but it could also be necessary if an existing trustee is not fulfilling their role properly. Ideally succession planning should be undertaken in advance in order to avoid last minute panics. On a related note, it is helpful if trustees can give a significant amount of notice if they are planning to retire as a trustee.
A trustee board should be well-balanced and comprised of a diverse mix of backgrounds, experience, skills, demographics and personalities.
One way of establishing whether someone is a good fit in terms of skills (both professional and soft) is for the board to maintain a skills matrix. This will help identify gaps and can be used to inform succession plans.
A scheme’s trust deed and rules will state who has the power to appoint new trustees. If the employer has the power then it is helpful if the existing trustees are able to give input to the process. This could range from providing information about what the role involves to assisting with the decision-making.
Succession plans should reflect the size and complexity of the scheme.