I’d like to start by thanking Michael personally for his excellent stewardship over the last thirty years... his contribution has been truly immense and it’s no exaggeration to say that he has been instrumental in creating the Scheme that we have today.
2020 has been a difficult year for us all. Our condolences go out to those of you who may have lost someone during the pandemic.
The first lockdown in late March was an immediate concern for the Trustee. This unfortunately impacted the Administration Team, with the move to working from home causing several challenges for them to overcome. As a result, the time it’s taken to respond to some member queries has been longer than normal and I would like to thank members for their ongoing patience while service is returned to normal.
The financial markets were noticeably impacted by the global pandemic. As with all pension schemes, as the asset values across almost all markets fell, you may have seen the value of your Personal Account reduce. Pensions are a long-term investment and fund values will rise and fall over time. We’ve already seen that, on the whole, investment markets are showing signs they’re recovering. However, they’re still subject to significant swings in value as the course of the pandemic continues to unfold. This volatility is further exacerbated by the uncertainties of the longer-term impact of the pandemic on the global economy and continuing significant geo-political tensions.
We now live in a digital age and therefore it’s only right that you have the facility to manage your pension online. Our DC Section Administrator has recently launched a new version of its member portal. You can access this via the Scheme website, which has also recently been updated and improved. You can read a little more about both the website and ‘My account’ (the online member portal) later on.
As well as Michael’s retirement, we’ve seen further changes to the Trustee Board. Earlier this year, because of a change of role, Annabel Gillard stepped down as a Trustee Director. She was a Company Appointed Trustee Director, and the Company has appointed Jo Waldron to replace her. In addition, Gillian Starkie has also been appointed by the Company to bring the total to six Company Appointed Trustee Directors. Looking forward, John Paino’s term of office is due to end this July. As he is our Pensioner Nominated Trustee Director, we’ll be writing to Pensioner members of the DB Section in the next few months inviting those who wish to be considered for the role to put themselves forward.
All the Trustee Directors, the Pensions Team and our professional advisers work extremely hard. I’d like to extend my personal thanks to them all for both their individual contributions to running our Scheme and their support to me since my appointment as Chairman.
I hope you enjoy reading this edition of ‘Pension Overview’. I am keen that we include within future editions, information and articles that you find both interesting and informative. We’ve also provided a direct link so you can share your feedback and tell us what you would like to see in future editions.
Stay safe and well.
Chairman of the Trustee of the Prudential Staff Pension Scheme