- The PPF Trustmark will signify the expertise and high standards of service provided by the PPF’s panel firms.
- Panel firms are specialist advisors appointed by the PPF to take schemes through the PPF assessment process as efficiently as possible.
- The badge will be used by panel firms in member communications and scheme specific websites, providing reassurance to members of schemes in PPF assessment of their partnership with the PPF.
- The Trustmark initiative is part of the PPF’s ongoing work to raise awareness of its protection and provide further reassurance to members.
The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) has today launched a new Trustmark initiative which will provide its panel firms with a badge that recognises their expertise and high level of service supporting defined benefit pension schemes in relation to the PPF’s assessment process.
The PPF has long used panels, made up of experts, whose role is to provide specialist advice to help schemes move through the PPF assessment process as quickly and efficiently as possible. Some panels also support schemes where the sponsoring employer is in distress; others provide services directly to the PPF.
There are currently 29 panel firms working across six specialist panels. These firms will now be able to use a badge which recognises their specialist knowledge, collaborative working with the PPF, and commitment to delivering the high standards of service set by the PPF.
Oliver Morley, CEO, said: “At the PPF, we are committed to providing a positive experience to members in schemes which come into our assessment process regardless of whether they transfer to us or not. Our panel firms perform a vital role taking schemes smoothly through our assessment process and securing the best available outcomes for members. The Trustmark badge recognises the high standard of service our panellists provide, and we hope will reassure members who see it that they are in safe hands.”
Panel firms will be able to use the Trustmark in a variety of ways as set out, and controlled, by the PPF. Permitted use of the badge will include: in member communications for schemes in PPF assessment, on online member portals, and on scheme specific websites. As at the end of March 2023, there were just under 65,000 members in schemes being assessed by the PPF who may see the Trustmark badge in use in the future.
Oliver Morley added: “The launch of the Trustmark supports our broader efforts to raise awareness among DB scheme members of the protection we provide. It also serves to showcase the success story that is our panel system. We have developed a unique and proven capability consolidating schemes into the PPF which could potentially be further harnessed for wider public benefit.”
The PPF has transferred over 1,090 schemes since it was set up in 2005, and currently looks after almost 300,000 members. Working in partnership with its panel firms, over time the PPF has greatly improved the efficiency of its assessment process. Before the PPF first opened its doors, it typically took around 10 years to wind up a scheme; a PPF assessment process, which bears many similarities to winding up a scheme, takes on average 18–24 months.
--- End ---
Notes to Editors
The design of the Trustmark badge which panel firms will be able to use can be seen below:
About the PPF
The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) is a public corporation, set up by the Pensions Act 2004, and has been protecting members of eligible defined benefit (DB) pension schemes across the UK since 2005. The PPF is run by an independent Board and accountable to Parliament through the Secretary of State for the Department for Work and Pensions. It protects close to 10 million members belonging to more than 5,100 pension schemes. If an employer collapses and its DB pension scheme cannot pay members what they were promised, the PPF pays compensation for their lost pensions. The PPF is funded by a levy charged to eligible schemes, the return on its investments, assets from pension schemes transferred into the PPF and recoveries from insolvent employers.
The PPF is one of the UK’s largest asset owners with £32.5 billion of assets under management. It also administers the Fraud Compensation Fund (FCF) and the Government’s Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS), and across both the PPF and FAS looks after nearly 440,000 members.