A pension is a long term investment that builds a regular income for you to receive when you retire. There are many types of pensions, including private, state and occupational (provided by your employer) pensions and their value is not fixed – they can go up and down depending on where they’re invested.
Pensions is a growing industry that needs talented people to devise solutions to the new and complex challenges of modern society.
Working in any sector of the pensions marketplace offers a solid career in an industry continuing to receive high media attention. At entry level, comprehensive training provides a structured path for career development and on-going professional qualifications. Many pensions firms also provide full support in relation to training costs, mentoring and time off for study.
Routes into the pensions profession
Pension Administrators must be good communicators and be able to work in a team environment. They must demonstrate mathematical talent to calculate contributions levels, member benefits, lump sum payments, annual renewal reconciliations and Inland Revenue limits. This will be complimented by a good appreciation and application English for drafting a variety of letters to members and report writing.
Actuarial students should be analytically and mathematically strong, and enjoy solving complex conundrums regarding costs, future funding requirements, asset allocation, investment performance, and forecasting. There will also be involvement in mergers and acquisitions and the role may be client-facing and project orientated.
Entering the industry in a technical capacity might suit the legal intern with the profession having seen many years of legislative changes. Significant legal judgements have resulted in individuals winning cases against huge companies; three in particular during the early 1990s of Barber, Coloroll and Smith v Advel. Legal advice and guidance is needed to interpret Trust Deed & Rules, and in the drafting or amendment of trust documents. Advice is often required when companies go into administration and pensions need to be protected.
Specialist IT companies design software to calculate benefits, coordinate revenue documents and issue member letters. With technology advancements, there has been an increased need for IT and design staff to enhance communications for ‘Member Education’. This ensures employees fully understand the benefit packages their employer provides. These benefits are not restricted to pensions alone; additional employee benefits communicated effectively to staff have proved an effective tool in reducing staff turnover.
Accountancy within the industry can diversify an individual’s skill into audit work, managing payrolls and taxation. Accountancy teams manage current cash flow forecasting and control payments to and from the schemes, including monthly contributions and investments.