Existing Scheme Review
Many existing pension schemes have not been formally reviewed for many years. We provide Trustees with an objective review of the scheme, covering a number of important issues such as
- Scheme structure
- Quality of the underlying investment funds
- Contribution rates
- Quality of scheme administration and advice
- Retirement options
Many schools that elected The Pensions Trust as their scheme provider will be faced with significant shortfall payments and individual scheme deficits.
We are well versed with the workings of the various Pensions Trust schemes and have a number of innovative solutions that can help employers reduce their scheme liabilities whilst actually improving the benefits for members.
Workplace Pensions Advice
We have worked with support staff for many years, providing in house pension advice for all members. There is little point an employer providing a staff benefit (such as an employer’s contribution into a pension scheme) unless the staff do actually recognise it as a benefit!
We work with new joiners, existing members and retirees making sure they make the right investment decisions within their pensions whilst they accrue benefits, explaining and streamlining their old pension schemes and providing the right annuity advice for those coming up to retirement.
Many staff could not afford the services of an Independent Financial Adviser, so our service is always extremely highly valued. We have been retained by some schools for more than 15 years in this capacity; currently 35 schools use us as their in house financial advisers.
Pension Scheme Investment Governance
All employers that run Defined Contribution Pension Schemes (Group Personal Pensions, etc.) must now take responsibility for the quality of the underlying investments within their scheme and the investment decision making process on behalf of members.
The service covers all of the following points on behalf of an employer.
The Investment Governance Group (IGG) of The Pensions Regulator has set out a practical framework of principles and best practice guidance to help those running work-based Defined Contribution (DC) Pension Schemes improve their investment decision-making and scheme governance.
The framework is a result of a public consultation with key stakeholders, including employers, trustees, providers, advisers and member representatives earlier.
A number of changes have been made in response to points raised in the consultation to improve clarity, allow more flexibility and encourage engagement with good investment governance.
The six revised Defined Contribution principles are:
- Clear roles and responsibilities – aiming to help ensure that firm foundations are in place for the process of investment governance.
- Effective decision-making – decisions relating to investment governance must be taken on a fully informed basis and that the processes must be sound.
- Appropriate investment options – to make certain that investment options take account of the range of risks and needs within the scheme membership.
- Appropriate default strategy – determining that an appropriately designed investment strategy is offered for members who prefer not to make a choice.
- Effective performance assessment – the performance of the chosen investment options must be monitored.
- Clear and relevant communication – to ensure that members are provided with clear, relevant and timely information so they can make an informed choice about where to invest.