“They deliver above expectation when the scheme has a particular challenge.”
“The trustee training was a very well-paced overview which gave opportunity to explore ideas and question more deeply at key points.”
“In my experience, not all professional trustees are able to cope with tricky or potentially confrontational situations. I find PSGS has massive experience in getting involved, earning the respect of others and resolving such issues. They get stuck in – they are a first rate team.”
“The trustee training course lecturers' explanations and willingness to answer questions were most valuable - even silly ones - although I have learnt there are no 'silly questions' that trustees should ask.”
“Excellent communication - the trustee training course facilitators were clearly knowledgeable and very experienced in their field and able to convey concept and information in a way I was able to understand. ”
“Clare Owen has been a really excellent scheme secretary”
I’m privileged to act as both an independent trustee and a professional scheme secretary. Although the roles are quite different, I find each brings benefit to the other – and never more so than when it comes to managing pension scheme advisers and their costs.
Keep advisers on their toes
For one scheme where I’m trustee secretary, the actuary advised the cost of producing a section 179 valuation (to check the potential reduction in the scheme’s Pension Protection Fund (PPF) levy) was £2,000. If that proved beneficial, the cost to produce the s179 certificate would be another £2,000.
I pointed out on all my other schemes the actuary gives a good indication as to whether submitting a section 179 certificate would be beneficial and makes no charge for this. The pension trustees then pay for the certificate if required. The actuary agreed, so I saved this client the ‘initial’ £2,000 and halved the cost.
Check SIP costs carefully
To help the pension trustees action the upcoming changes required for a scheme’s Statement of Investment Principles (SIP), another client’s investment adviser included the following tasks and costs in their proposal:
I took on (as scheme secretary) a £280m defined benefit (DB) pension scheme in September. Initially the Chair thought fortnightly calls would be the way forward, but we quickly swapped to weekly. Recently, during a particularly tricky valuation process, it became almost every other day. The Chair has appreciated speaking to me as a sounding board independent of the advisers and I’ve been able to share my experience of dealing with The Pensions Regulator about valuations on other schemes where I’m a pension trustee.
As a paid professional, I’m always mindful of the need to deliver value for my clients. I can do that, in part, by managing scheme advisers, scoping their work correctly and knowing from experience when fees look high; but we need to deliver value too. Sharing experience is a key way of doing this.
24 Sep 2020
Confused about where your Pension Protection Fund (PPF) levy invoice for 2020 is being sent? The mystery is solved! I called the PPF to...
15 Sep 2020
Whether you have returned to the office now for a couple days a week or still working from home, how many more webinars have you attended since...
9 Sep 2020
I’m privileged to act as both an independent trustee and a professional scheme secretary. Although the roles are quite different, I find each...