Pension services

Professional Trustee Services

08454 334 199

How good is your scheme governance?

Do any of these ring true?

The defined benefit pension scheme is like an albatross around our company’s neck

Why is our pension scheme so resource hungry?

Our pension scheme is taking up time, people money and energy

The pension scheme is closed and not part of our remuneration strategy

You want to know how to manage the pension scheme effectively and efficiently as possible without distracting from your core business

The facts about defined benefits pension schemes:

There are currently nearly 6,000 companies in the UK with defined benefit pension schemes registered with the Pension Protection Fund
(view source)

The good news is that pension deficits are slowly decreasing.

The bad news is that 75% of schemes are in deficit.

To date, more than 850 pension schemes have been bailed out by the Pension Protection Fund (view source)

A key factor in many of the companies involved is that the pension scheme deficit was the factor that tipped them over the edge.

We can help you if:

(Please click on the links for more information)

1. Your Trustee Board is constantly changing

To manage your pension scheme as effectively as possible, we provide you with consistency on the Trustee Board – so vital where there is an ever shifting management team.


2. Your trustee board doesn’t have the experience or knowledge

The consequences of this are that key decisions don’t get made for example:

Should you hedge your investments?
By delaying a decision you may be vulnerable to interest and inflation charges

Result – your deficit increases
Where we help – we can help you understand the complexities using plain language so you are
able to make an informed decision

Understanding what funding contributions are required
If it’s difficult to budget for your pension scheme and it feels like you’re constantly on shifting sands – we can provide a consistency for you to ensure there are no nasty surprises.

You miss opportunities
Because you’re unsure it can be difficult, for example, to make potential investment decisions. The delays could result in the debt increasing and a faster decline of the scheme. We are able to make you aware of the different opportunities and their relative merits without you worrying if we have any vested interests. We are independent and ensure you get best advice and best value for money.


3. Your pension scheme is run inefficiently

If you aren’t making the right decisions in the right time frame and you’re not able to take the actions you need to take to hand over your scheme to the insurance companies, you could end up paying more contributions and having to keep the scheme for longer than necessary.


4. There are conflicts of interest

There are conflicts of interest on your Trustee Board

The pensions regulator defines a conflict of interest:
‘A conflict of interest may arise when a fiduciary (which includes a trustee) is required to take
a decision where:
– the fiduciary is obliged to act in the best interests of his beneficiary; and at the same time he has or may have either
– a separate personal interest or
– another fiduciary duty owed to a different beneficiary in relation to that decision, giving rise to a possible conflict with his first fiduciary duty, which needs to be properly addressed.’

And they go on to say that the issue with a conflict is that:
‘Such a conflict can inhibit open discussions or result in decisions, actions or inactions that are not in the best interests of beneficiaries. This, in turn, may result in the trustees acting improperly, lead to a perception that the trustees have acted improperly, and may invalidate a decision or transaction.’

View source

We can help you identify the potential conflicts of interest and then work towards ensuring there is a proper process in place to manage and monitor them


5. You have a one-off project

This could include winding the scheme up and you need some extra support with that. We can help you.



Case studies

Employee communication

How improved employee communication resulted in better engagement in the pension scheme

The trustees were concerned that their communications with members had fallen into an annual cycle of a trustee newsletter and benefit statements for some members...

Scheme governance

Scheme governance

Scheme governance is in danger of becoming a cottage industry of box ticking for no added value on the time and expense incurred. We recently worked with a trustee board to buck this trend...


What our clients say

A pragmatic and practical trustee.  Working with him, I am impressed by his all-round knowledge and his ability to get to the heart of the matter and drive schemes forward.  His approach is always responsible, but proportionate to the scheme's needs and resources.  He brings a wealth of experience from decades at the sharp end of managing and administering pension schemes, and my experience is that he has a real ability to bring together trustees and advisers to work effectively for the benefit of members.

Rosalind Connor

Partner, ARC Pensions Law

Michael and I have worked together as co trustees on a fast growing defined contribution master trust where Michael is the chairman. He is a delight to work with. He is a very knowledgeable trustee able to tackle a very wide range of issues.  He is constructive in the way he works, focussing on good member outcomes and the best way to achieve them.  Pragmatic and commercial, he is prepared to tackle the difficult issues but does so in such a charming way that everyone remains focussed on delivering a good solution to the issues.

Jane Kola

formerly Partner Gowling WLG now Partner ARC Pensions Law, Partner ARC Pensions Law

Newsletters and press

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If you would like to work with people who are enthusiastic about pensions call us on

08454 334 199

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