“It’s a pleasure working with key members of the PSGS team: their experience and leadership means that they know how to get the job done, working in partnership with fellow trustees, employers and advisers to achieve the best result for members.”
“They are very proactive and full of new ideas, they've brought better scheduling and better minute sets.”
“So much more proactive than the previous company. On the ball - thinking in advance of things needing doing - very proactive.”
“They deliver above expectation when the scheme has a particular challenge.”
“I would recommend them to anyone - I have dealt with a number of other independent trustee firms and would rate PSGS as the best. We are very happy with Mark and the service we get.”
“Many organisations and people provide the services that clients need. In my opinion, the differentiator is in the way those services are provided and to that extent, Kathy embodies the qualities that I have come to value from PSITL. Kathy is organised but not fussy; diligent but not dogmatic; persistent without being pushy and compliant in a pragmatic way. Whilst she takes ownership and drives issues forward, Kathy is a team player who uses her and her colleagues experience to provide services to her trustee client whilst working closely with those like me representing the sponsoring employer. She works collaboratively with advisers but constructively challenges the scope of services, fees and service standards whenever necessary and makes sure that member needs are always taken into account. I enjoy working with her and trust that she will deliver what is required by the trustee and the members they represent in a manner satisfactory to the sponsoring employer. ”
I was with a client recently where we held a specific session at the end of the pension trustees’ meeting to discuss each of the scheme’s advisers. It immediately became apparent that common views were shared amongst the trustees. There were concerns that needed addressing.
The chairman then met with advisers who the pension trustees felt were either underperforming or not delivering value for money to talk about their service. As a result, adviser teams were changed and service shifted from reactive to proactive. The trustee chairman made it clear if service did not improve, a selection exercise would be conducted.
Look for simple, sensible solutions
I like this pragmatic approach. Have the conversations first; don’t jump straight into a full blown adviser review exercise.
For one of the advisers the trustees decided to see what advice the scheme actuary’s firm offered. By getting a trial report from the actuarial consultant, the trustees were able to compare the two approaches at their next meeting.
The session also highlighted how the relationship between the pension trustee board and the scheme sponsor could be improved. A standing agenda item was introduced to allow a representative of the company to attend, by phone if easier, to ensure they are always up to date with what is happening.
That single session at the end of a trustee meeting brought out issues that simply hadn’t come to light in the day-to-day running of the pension scheme. Why not take the time at your next trustee meeting to ask yourself a few simple questions:
Your independent trustee (if you have one) or trustee secretary can help with the answers.