“Gillian and Curtis provide an excellent service to the trustees. They are approachable and possess a huge amount of knowledge. Everything appears to work smoothly which I am sure is due to the immense amount of work they do in the background to ensure all paperwork is available and up to date.”
“They are very proactive and full of new ideas, they've brought better scheduling and better minute sets.”
“Colin provides expert trusteeship. He guides former employees not familiar with legal constraints and restrictions - he is aware of them and helps solve problems - very happy.”
“PSGS have provided sound and professional advice through a number of difficult pension decisions – would thoroughly recommend.”
“So much more proactive than the previous company. On the ball - thinking in advance of things needing doing - very proactive.”
“PSGS offered the right support at very short notice, at reasonable cost, when we really needed it.”
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 lockdown started back in March? It seems pension scheme advisers have taken full advantage of the last six months to encourage trustees to register for webinars and take online training.
Free virtual training that you can sign up to and take part in from the comfort of your own desk (aka at home!) have to be a good thing. They can be short enough to fit into a lunch break if you are time restricted and, even if you miss it, most sites save them into a video library so you can catch up when suits you. Some also contribute to continuing professional development (CPD) hours under the Pensions Management Institute (PMI) scheme and other professional bodies.
Pensions aren’t boring (really, they’re not)
Pension webinars have made training more accessible across the board. As well as helping broaden the knowledge, understanding and skill set of pension trustees and scheme secretaries, they’re also encouraging a younger generation of pension professionals like me.
An example of this is the Pension Geeks ‘Pension awareness live’ campaign. They’re hosting several educational but fun webinars all day, all week (14-18 September 2020) about everything you need to know about pensions. The information is condensed into easily digestible content and range in topics to suit people who know nothing about pensions or those who are just starting out in the pension world to other topics such as the gender pensions gap that will also appeal to those with more extensive knowledge.
Physical vs social networking
Given what a disaster lockdown has been with so little opportunity to network from a new business point of view, virtual conferences and webinars have been a great way to keep this alive. I think they’ve shown we are all human and helped us be a little more relaxed and a little less formal in the process.
We can still learn about new pension initiatives and the hot topics we would normally discuss at networking events or in the office, if we were all there. It also means more people can virtually attend in comparison to the limited numbers of seats in your office’s meeting room. Take next week’s Thames Valley PLSA session on implementation statements as an example. Over 150 people have registered to attend the webinar compared to around 30 who typically attended when they were held in the office.
Work flexibly with your tech
As more and more services move to online delivery, it’s important to remember to embrace technology with an open mind. The transition from 9-5 in the office to working from home was stressful for some and highlighted areas for development in IT proficiency.
We’ve followed this through into our own business with inhouse training sessions for our pension trustees and scheme secretaries on how to use the software they have in their toolkit but didn’t use so much in the past. I’ve given a quick 5-minute tour of the key software features used daily and found my colleagues were grateful for the help.
Something that is easy for you, might not be for someone else you’re working with. As we move forward into a more flexible working style, it’s important to make sure everyone has the skills to do so efficiently. Follow the Pension Geeks’ lead and, if you can, please help others improve their skills or knowledge.
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