Key Person Risk
The trustees of a £1bn plan were looking to out source the role of Scheme Secretary. Historically the company pensions manager had been the secretary to the trustees followed by a member of the HR department for seven years until their retirement.
What we did
We agreed the scope of the secretariat appointment which was to deliver a full service on a fixed fee basis. A team of three were allocated to serve the client to ensure there was continuity in the event of absence. This included a dedicated transition manager who worked with the trustees to ensure a seamless transition.
This was an important function, because the client wanted to ensure that there would be no disruption to the service provided to the trustees. It also helped us to gain a better understanding of the scheme rules, processes and trustee needs and requirements. At the same time, we started to build up relationships with the respective professional advisers and explained our requirements and timelines for delivering papers for Trustee meetings.
We became familiar with the business plan and its risk documentation, working closely with the Chair to enable a smooth transition. We set up a specific extranet facility which gave online access to the trustees enabling their documents to be stored safely and enabling easy retrieval. The client has four trustee meetings and usually 12 sub-committee meetings a year.
All governance documentation and processes were reviewed resulting in updated terms of reference, policies and scheme documentation.
How we added value
Soon after appointment there were changes within the company’s management leading to there being no pensions expertise. As a consequence, Pinsent Masons Pensions Services took on both supporting the Trustee and helping the company meet its obligations.
By appointing an independent company to run the schemes the company was able to ensure that it met the statutory duties until it was able to appoint a new pensions manager.
We have been able to help the new pensions manager by being the go to for knowledge about the schemes and being the constant for the Trustee, ensuring that their governance remained well managed. By setting up an extranet for scheme documentation, we also removed a potential risk which improved scheme governance.