“They are very proactive and full of new ideas, they've brought better scheduling and better minute sets.”
“These days, Boards need real expertise on tap (with excellent back-up) to cope with a constantly evolving and more regulated environment. PSGS is geared to delivering that.”
“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.”
“I wanted to look at the effectiveness of our trustee board, so Gillian, our PSGS scheme secretary, provided their trustee self-assessment tool to help me gather thoughts and opinions from others on the board. The tool was extremely easy to use and asked all the right questions to help me collect the information I needed as Trustee Chair. It is a great example of the way PSGS shares knowledge with their clients and makes dealing with key governance issues easy. As well as enabling me to meet one of the Regulator’s 21st century trusteeship requirements, using the tool has flagged trustee training needs and ways we could improve trustee meetings further. ”
“Highly informative. Having leading professionals deliver the TKU course really adds value.”
“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 know you are probably sat there shouting at your computer/mobile/tablet screen - GDPR? Again? Enough already! For a while, I felt just as you do now. Then I reminded myself to look for the positives. Even typing the title of this blog made me smile as a certain Life of Brian ditty popped into my head (I know, I’m showing my age).
Throughout my twenty something years in pensions, one phrase has kept coming to mind time and time again - over complication. Over complication tends to lead to lack of clarity. I’m really not keen on either, and it is one of the main reasons why my career took a diversion from pensions actuarial work into communications.
A good example of over complication is General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) privacy notices. Whilst the intention behind them is good, the execution in reality is not. Many pension trustees are deciding against including the full privacy notice in their scheme’s annual newsletter because they are too long and/or too full of legalese to be engaging (and therefore actually useful) for pension members.
On the bright side, the impending arrival of GDPR means I’m spending time really thinking about how we interact with people, where the touch points are, what they need to know, what we need to know and when. Figuring out how we can be clear and engaging at the same time as compliant is not new in the world of pension communications. The new GDPR requirements are adding to the challenge, but are focusing the mind in a good way.
There are other really positive things too. Working through the steps needed to ensure GDPR compliance means many pension trustees are having a long overdue look at contracts they have in place with advisers and suppliers. It is the sort of job that trustee boards could find they never quite got to in the past. Reviewing them now could highlight areas where service scope, standards or value for money can be improved.
There are some great tools out there to help pension trustees with GDPR compliance - especially those looking after small and medium sized pension schemes. These cut through the complications (hurray) to provide a clear (hurray again) and straightforward series of steps to follow that leave you with a new data protection policy at the end.
You see, GDPR really doesn’t have to be over complicated - and there definitely is a bright side.