“The trustee training course covered a wide variety of subjects which gives a good basis for future discussion and decision making during trustee meetings.”
“PSGS were overall more professional than others.”
“Excellent and comprehensive training course. I will definitely refer to what I've learned and received. ”
“Gillian has gone above and beyond what we would normally expect of our secretarial support on many occasions and her deep knowledge on all issues have been invaluable.”
“Competent, friendly and very helpful.”
“Brilliant to work with - inspiring confidence that risks are anticipated and well-managed, and adding huge value by sharing expertise and best practice.”
Last July I left my role as an experienced paraplanner to work within the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) team at PSGS as an Assistant Scheme Manager. I must admit, it was a leap of faith for me and for PSGS!
I only had one online interview via Microsoft Teams and my knowledge of pension trustees and what they actually do was limited, but I had nothing to fear. PSGS is a forward thinking company and understands not everyone will know the pension trustee world to begin with. They are willing to employ people from different backgrounds to bring alternative viewpoints, knowledge and experience to add value and ultimately help grow our company.
What have you learnt, Kate?
At PSGS, I’ve been able to learn about the role of a pension trustee and begin to understand the complexities of managing defined benefit (DB) pension schemes through the PPF assessment period. It has reconfirmed my belief the UK pensions system is a complex beast!
There have been internal training sessions presented by experienced colleagues and plenty of ‘learn at lunch’ webinars provided by external advisers covering a variety of topics such as ESG, legal judgments, the Pensions Scheme Act 2021 and other recent changes impacting pension trustees. The Pensions Regulator (TPR) also provides a series of online learning modules and downloadable resources via their trustee toolkit to help learn about the trustee role and helps you keep up to date with pensions news. A willingness to learn new things has helped me a lot.
How have you adapted?
There are similarities with previous roles that have made the move easier, like building relationships with external advisers (or having online drinks, which helps too) but, most importantly, whatever part of financial services you are in, you can never assume anything. It is crucial you have an audit trail and evidence of decisions made.
One of the most noticeable changes for me has been moving from an individual client focus to the needs and objectives of a scheme’s membership as a whole. I now appreciate the amount of time and work spent behind the pension scheme scenes.
So, working from home, how has this had an impact?
I am the only PSGS employee to benefit from their first ever socially distanced garden ‘lockdown induction’. Not many people can say that! PSGS have provided me with IT that has worked from day one, be that in Sarah’s garden or at my house.
Very knowledgeable colleagues have provided support whenever I need it. We have regular team video meetings which has helped me meet their friendly faces and stay connected. Thankfully, it turns out there’s no such thing as a silly question!
Yes, it would have been easier to start a new job in the office where you can ask quick questions across the desk, pick up information from overhearing conversations and get to know colleagues on a social level. With that in mind, I’m definitely looking forward to going into the Reading office, meeting my colleagues in real life and enjoying a well-earned team lunch!
What would you say overall?
There may be people who are interested in the pension trustee world but concerned they have no real trustee experience. Be reassured you can learn in practice and from us! From new graduates starting their career at PSGS to trustees with over 50 years’ experience, we’re a team that enjoys learning from and supporting each other.
You should visit our careers site to see our new opportunities, who we are and what we’re all about.
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