The assets of the Group’s pension schemes are held under trust, separate from the assets of the Group and are invested with a number of independent fund managers. There are twelve trustees for the principal UK scheme of whom five are employee representatives nominated by the members on a regional basis and one is a pensioner trustee. The chairman of the trustees of the principal UK scheme is a professional trustee who served for eight years as a fund member elected representative on the National Association of Pension Funds’ investment council. He also sits independently as an elected representative of all railway employers on the board of the Railways Pension Scheme, of which he is the Trustee Chairman of the Railways Pension Scheme trustees. The other trustees of the principal UK scheme include senior Group and UK Bus executives.
A Pensions Oversight Committee was in operation throughout the year. This Committee is chaired by a non-executive director, Ewan Brown, and also comprises one executive director and other members of senior management. The Committee operates at a strategic level and its remit covers all matters affecting the Group’s pension schemes from the perspective of the Group’s shareholders and other stakeholders, and it will consider, develop and propose recommendations to the Board in respect of such issues as may arise. The Committee reviews pension scheme funding, investment strategy, risk management, internal controls surrounding pension matters and the related administration for all of the employee pension schemes of the Group.