The Independent Governance Committee
Acting in the best interests of plan members
What is the Independent Governance Committee
Fidelity International has established an Independent Governance Committee (IGC) which operates independently of Fidelity. The IGC’s role is to represent the interests of members of Fidelity’s Group Personal Pension Plans, Stakeholder Plans and Section 32 arrangements. The Committee members have extensive knowledge and experience of the pensions and finance industry.
Key objectives and duties
The IGC monitors the Group Personal Pension Plans, Stakeholder Plans and Section 32 arrangements administered by Fidelity. It is required to act independently of the FIL Life Board and, if necessary, will challenge Fidelity to do better. Its key duties are to:
- Act solely in the best interests of all relevant plan members;
- Assess the value for money offered by Fidelity’s UK Group Personal Pension Plans, Stakeholder Plans and Section 32 arrangements, using criteria set out by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Value for money takes account not only of member costs, but also investment performance and the quality of service offered to members.
- Assess the value for money offered by the Investment Pathways to members of the UK Group Personal Pension and Stakeholder Plans, taking into account costs, alignment to member objectives, level of investment risk, governance and oversight of assets and clear communication to members;
- Consider, and report to members on, Fidelity’s policies on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, member concerns and stewardship;
- Raise any concerns it may have on value for money, including value for money of Investment Pathways, with the FIL Life Board and make recommendations for addressing these concerns. If the IGC raises concerns with the FIL Life Board and believes these are not addressed satisfactorily, the IGC may then take its concerns to the FCA, after which it may alert the relevant members and employers, and make its concerns public;
- Ensure member communications are fit for purpose;
- Produce an annual report of its findings, which you can find below.
The annual IGC Chair’s report
The annual IGC Chair’s report sets out the results of the IGC’s most recent assessment of Fidelity’s Group Personal Pension Plans, Stakeholder Plans and Section 32 arrangements under its Value for Money Framework. You can read the full report or a summary of it by clicking on the relevant link below or watch a short video presentation of the assessment findings.
Focus areas for the IGC
Over 2022, in addition to monitoring Fidelity’s Group Personal Pension Plans, Stakeholder Plans and Section 32 arrangements to ensure they offer value for money, the IGC will continue to work with Fidelity to enhance members’ experience by:
- Making changes to FutureWise across all pension plans;
- Monitoring improvements to the retirement journey so that members can focus on important investment decisions;
- Ensure members have access to comprehensive retirement tools that that incorporate their total retirement picture;
- Monitor the consistency in the fund range for non-advised employers including sustainable investment and decumulation options;
- Ensure member communications are focused on providing members with confidence in their default and how it is designed in their interests.
Sustainable investing and the IGC
The IGC members strongly believe that good stewardship is a key aspect of financial risk management and that it is also an important way to help ensure the long-term sustainability of investments. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations are a central feature of investment stewardship, in respect to the way companies are managed. The IGC members will monitor the ongoing adequacy, quality and implementation of Fidelity's ESG and stewardship policies. You can read more about sustainable investing and ESG, as well as the role they play in Fidelity’s default investment option, FutureWise, when you visit the page on sustainable investing.
Terms of Reference
The IGC’s terms of reference effective from 20 December 2022.
Getting in touch with the IGC
The members of the IGC are always delighted to hear from plan members and employers about their experience of Fidelity. They use feedback to inform their conversations and activities with Fidelity. You can contact the IGC:
By email: ZGL.FidelityIGCChair@zedra.com
By post: Fidelity IGC Chair, Zedra, Park House, Park Square East, Leeds LS1 2PW
Kim Nash – Independent Governance Committee Chair
Kim Nash is a Client Director, ZEDRA Governance Limited, which she joined in February 2012. Kim is a qualified Actuary and previously worked for Willis Towers Watson as an actuarial benefit consultant. Kim brings her significant DC experience both as a Trustee and a member of governance committee to lead the IGC to develop the value for money framework and make comparisons on Fidelity’s performance against the wider industry.
Roger Breeden - Independent Member
Roger Breeden is a Trustee Executive with independent trustee company BESTrustees and specialises in workplace Defined Contribution and Master Trust pension schemes. His financial services experience spans more than 40 years, the majority of which was with Mercer where most recently as a Partner he led the launch and successful authorisation of a Master Trust establishing operational and governance systems and processes. He started his career as a personal financial adviser which provided him with day to day experience of the needs of pension scheme members while both building and drawing down on their savings.
Dianne Day – Independent Member
Dianne Day is a Client Director at Independent Trustee Services Ltd (ITS). She joined ITS in 2015, specialising in defined contribution (DC) schemes. Dianne holds the PMI Certificate in DC Governance and is a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia. She has worked for major investment firms in senior communications and management roles. Dianne applies her extensive DC governance and communications experience to help with the evaluation of Fidelity’s member service, communications and engagement programmes.
Gerald Wellesley - Independent Member
Gerald is a Professional Trustee and Client Director of Punter Southall Governance Services Limited. He has over 35 years’ experience in the finance industry, 15 years as pension trustee and 3 years in HR management.
His current portfolio of trusteeships includes chair, sole trustee and subcommittee positions with DB and DC schemes and DC Master Trusts. He brings strengths in the investment and financial management disciplines together with more broadly-based trustee skills. He was previously at BNY Mellon where he led the corporate strategy for the UK and European pensions industry where BNY Mellon is a leading provider of asset management, custody and collateral management services.
Jackie Wells - Independent Member
Jackie is an independent policy consultant and a governance professional. She has worked in the pension sector for many years, initially working in the life assurance sector before moving to Bacon & Woodrow and Deloitte in their strategy consultancy arms. During that time, she worked with government departments, regulators, and providers on a wide range of policy initiatives including stakeholder pensions and the implementation of the Pensions Commission recommendations. On leaving Deloitte, Jackie completed an MSc in Gerontology at the University of Southampton and shifted the focus of her work towards a wider range of ageing issues including later life finances.
Jackie has since returned to a role as an independent consultant, working with pension schemes on a range of policy issues including value for money as well a role with Guiide where she is a member of the Governance Committee overseeing DB to DC transfer advice. She combines this with supporting Age UK on their national influencing committee and as a director of Age UK Southampton and now Age UK Wiltshire.
Matt Cuhls - Independent Member
Matt has almost 25 years of experience in the pensions industry having performed a variety of roles delivering or overseeing customer service, product and process design and investment management. Most recently he has been a Managing Director within Phoenix Group and was at ReAssure Ltd for over 20 years, as CEO for 10 years while also holding senior positions in Risk, Compliance and Audit. He has been closely involved with the work of Independent Governance Committees since their inception.