Governance.

Good governance means that the Trustee has the right processes and controls in place to make sure that the Scheme follows the Scheme Rules, complies with legislation and reaches best practice standards.

M&S is legally required to pay into the Scheme the money the Trustee needs to be able to pay the benefits due from the Scheme now and in the future. The Trustee works closely with M&S in managing the Scheme. Although the Trustee always acts independently, in some cases, the Trustee and M&S need to reach agreement on a decision before it can go ahead.

Trustee Committees.

To manage the Scheme effectively, the Trustee uses committees, which are responsible for certain aspects of the Scheme. It may also set up sub-groups or working parties to manage important projects or very specific responsibilities.

Investment Committee

The Investment Committee looks after the Scheme's investments, including monitoring where the Scheme has invested its funds, appointing and reviewing external investment managers, and reviewing the Scheme’s investment strategy. It must make sure that the Scheme’s investments are in line with the Trustee’s Statement of Investment Principles (SIP). There is a Long Term Funding Working Group and a Longevity Risk Working Group that help progress certain investment projects.

Management and Governance Committee

The Management and Governance Committee looks after the day-to-day management of the Scheme, including reviewing the Scheme’s governance arrangements, monitoring the administration service provided to members, agreeing changes required due to changes in legislation, deciding who should receive any lump sum death benefits and considering all formal complaints. It is supported by the Discretionary Benefits and Internal Disputes Resolution (IDR) Committees. There’s also a communications sub-committee.

Finance, Audit and Risk Committee

The Finance, Audit and Risk Committee oversees the accounting, financial reporting, internal control and risk management processes of the Scheme, including the audit of its financial statements.

Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) Committee

The Environmental, Social & Governance Committee explores the opportunities and risks within ESG and makes recommendations to the Trustee Board. This includes developing the Scheme’s Sustainable and Responsible Investment Policy, advising the Trustee Board and Committees on regulatory requirements and emerging best practice and considering the impact of ESG risks (including climate change) on the Scheme. You can find out more about the ESG Committee in the Sustainability section.

Valuation Committee

The Valuation Committee oversees the process of completing the in-depth financial health check (known as the actuarial valuation) that takes place every three years.

Material Events Committee

The Material Events Committee supports the Trustee in being prepared and able to respond effectively and efficiently to an event that has a material impact on the Scheme.

Documents.

There are a wide range of Scheme documents that set out how the Scheme should be managed and show how the Trustee carries out good Scheme governance. You can find some of these documents below or by logging in to the M&S Pension Scheme Portal.

Scheme Rules

The Scheme Rules is a legally binding document detailing the pension benefits that are payable to members of the Scheme and their beneficiaries. It must be provided to members of the Scheme upon request.

Members can request a copy of the Scheme Rules from the Pensions Administration Team.

Annual Report and Accounts

The Annual Report and Accounts provides detailed financial information about the Scheme over the 12 months to 31 March.

The Trustee provides the key numbers once a year through Pensions Update. You can download a copy of the latest Trustee Annual Report and Accounts by logging into your pension account on the M&S Pension Scheme Portal. Once logged in, click on “Document Library”, which you’ll find underneath “Scheme Communications”.

Statement of Investment Principles

The Statement of Investment Principles (SIP) sets out the policy for how the Scheme’s funds should be invested. The SIP covers the Trustee Board’s policy on:

  • The types of investment to be held
  • The balance between different types of investments
  • Attitude to risk and approach to its management
  • The expected return on investments
  • The extent to which social, environmental or ethical considerations are taken into account.

You can download the latest Statement of Investment Principles.

Implementation Statement

The purpose of the Implementation Statement is to set out details of the Trustee’s policy on engagement and voting along with a description of voting behaviour for the year to 31 March.

You can read the latest Implementation Statement within the Trustee Annual Report and Accounts, which can be downloaded by logging into your pension account on the M&S Pension Scheme Portal. Once logged in, click on “Document Library”, which you’ll find underneath “Scheme Communications”.

Summary Funding Statement

The Summary Funding Statement provides an update on the Scheme’s financial health. It tells you how much money the Scheme has set aside to pay pensions as they are due when the last in-depth financial health check (called an actuarial valuation) was completed. It also provides an update on how the Scheme’s financial health has changed since then.

DC Governance Statement

The purpose of the DC Governance Statement is to show how the Trustee fulfils the Pension Regulator’s code of practice and regulatory guidance for DC pension schemes in relation to the M&S AVC Scheme only.

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