Client feedback

The team provide an excellent service with practical and commercial input that we have not found with anyone else.
Mark Culwick
Professional and forthcoming with support.
Martin Crees ,
Ann is very proactive and ensures we address all issues well ahead of time and extremely efficiently.
Ian Edwards,
Alex has helped in our dealings with other advisers using his experience of other schemes.
Angela Clayton ,
Accent Group
The trustee training course covered a wide variety of subjects which gives a good basis for future discussion and decision making during trustee meetings.
Jean-Paul Gobel,
Ann and her team are very knowledgeable and proactive, liaise well with our other advisers and provide the Trustees with an invaluable secretarial service.
Ian Edwards,
Chair of Trustees, Comet

Managing costs and delivering value

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:

Sharing experience

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.



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