ACE will provide greater protection for trustees by significantly broadening the existing coverage and benefits provided through its Elite pensions trustee liability product. In particular, trustees need protection in respect of liabilities resulting from the statutory requirement to have appropriate knowledge and understanding of pensions, trust law, scheme funding and investments. As a consequence of the Pension Act 2004 requirements, there is a heightened risk that trustees may breach these increasingly complex responsibilities and consequently find their personal assets at risk, or in certain circumstances, find themselves liable for civil and criminal penalties.
ACE Elite's extended cover now includes a unique legal representation expenses feature associated with official or fact-finding investigations by a regulatory body such as the Pension Regulator. In addition, cover is available for maladministration, financial loss resulting from damage, loss or destruction of documents, and emotional and mental distress awards determined by the Pensions Ombudsman or Pensions Regulator. The policy can also be tailored to include retired trustee protection, cover for fines and civil penalties and continued protection for member-nominated trustees in the event of fraudulent non-disclosure or misrepresentation.
ACE, which is a leading specialist provider of pension trustee liability and directors and officers liability insurance, has conducted its own research amongst pension trustees on their views of the impact of the 2004 Pensions Act, and its possible impact on the personal liabilities of trustees.
Almost half of trustees questioned believed a statutory requirement for knowledge would put the onus on the sponsoring employer to ensure trustees were adequately protected. When asked whether they would become a trustee now, based on their knowledge of new requirements in the Act, a significant majority said they would only do so if trustee liability insurance cover were in place. A third of respondents believed that sponsoring employers would be more likely to purchase liability cover in an effort to attract the right personnel to take on the role of trustee.
According to Emma Watkins, ACE's pensions specialist: "ACE's research amongst pension trustees has revealed a deep concern that the specific requirements for a greater knowledge and understanding of the legal and financial aspects of pension funds are excessive, and perhaps most worryingly, a large number would only take on the role of a trustee now if specific liability protection was in place. At a time when legislation and litigation are on the increase, ACE Elite's pension trustee liability insurance provides trustees and employers with the added confidence to perform their roles, secure in the knowledge that they have sufficient protection. ACE is committed to addressing the evolving needs of trustees through adapting product coverage and providing valuable information on avoiding potential exposure to claims through greater information and understanding of their liabilities."
Notes to Editors:
ACE has offered pension trustee liability insurance since 1995.
ACE Elite Pension Trustee Liability insurance provides cover for trustees, employees, sponsoring employers, pension funds and corporate trustees. The product was formerly known as Privilege. Elite offers limits of liability ranging from GBP 500,000 to GBP 15 million.
Many companies purchase directors' and officers' liability insurance protection. However, these policies offer no protection for trustees or sponsoring employers.
The ACE European Group comprises the businesses of ACE Europe, ACE Global Markets and ACE Tempest Re (Europe).
ACE Europe is the principal retail brand for the Group, providing a range of tailored property and casualty, accident and health and personal lines solutions for a diverse range of clients. ACE Europe underwrites through the UK based, FSA regulated, ACE European Group Limited.
ACE European Group Limited has FSA permissions to underwrite all 18 classes of insurance and reinsurance business through its established branch network in 15 countries, Freedom of Services permissions to underwrite business in 27 European countries, Excess & surplus lines eligibility in 39 US states and the ability to underwrite reinsurance in most countries. ACE European Group Limited is rated A+ (Strong) by Standard and Poor's and A (Excellent) by AM Best.
ACE Global Markets (AGM) is ACE's speciality international business, underwriting through ACE European Group Limited and ACE's Lloyd's Syndicate 2488. Specialty lines include excess and surplus lines business, marine, aviation, energy and political risk as well as property, financial lines and accident and health. Syndicate 2488 holds an Aa3 financial strength rating from Moody's, one of the highest in the Lloyd's of London market.
The ACE Group of Companies provides insurance and reinsurance for a diverse group of clients. ACE Group conducts its business on a global basis, with operating subsidiaries in more than 50 countries. Additional information can be found at: www.acelimited.com.
ACE European Group
Katie Weeks, 020 7173 7585