U.K. pension plans today were given 18 months to voluntarily comply with a new code of best practices covering investment activities by defined benefit and defined contribution plans. Published by the Treasury and the Department of Work and Pensions, the guidelines concern appointing managers, setting benchmarks, wording mandates, making asset allocation decisions and being activist funds.
The government also announced it would incorporate U.S.-style principles on shareholder activism into British law, requiring fund managers and plan trustees to intervene in issues that are in shareholders and beneficiaries interests.
The guidelines largely are based on those published earlier this year by Gartmore Chairman Paul Myners in his review of U.K. institutional investment. Plan sponsors adherence to the guidelines will be reviewed in March 2003 to consider whether to make them law.