Scottish Enterprise Pension Scheme Trustees case study: our innovative appoach to integrated funding
19 Feb 2015 - Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
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When our Partner and Head of Trustee DB, Calum Cooper, went to a Trustee meeting with our long-standing client the Scottish Enterprise Pension Scheme Trustees, he faced an unusual challenge.
Having punctually arrived at their offices for his meeting with Allan Martin, the Chairman of the Trustees, the lift suddenly stopped between floors.
When pressing the emergency button failed to deliver the promised assistance from the lift company, Calum texted Allan, requesting help.
Minutes later there was a scratching noise, followed by a ping - and the doors opened.
A resourceful member of the Scottish Enterprise team had prised open the door with a coat hanger. Problem solved - and Calum joined the meeting.
At Hymans Robertson we understand the value of collaborative working with our clients and other advisors in finding new ways to solve old problems. So when the SE Trustees called on us to advise on their pension fund, Calum could see a clear way forward.
How we helped
Traditionally the management of pension scheme funding focuses on the level of contributions, or how much money is coming in. But our 3D funding approach goes beyond that.
We also look at balancing contributions with the risk and reward exposure in the investment strategy and the employer's willingness and ability to meet those costs and risks. Looking at all three dimensions - contributions, investments and covenant - provides you with a transparent and comprehensive view of where your scheme's funding is heading. It also provides the tools to set a route map and draw up a contingency plan for when the road becomes bumpy.
What's more, we bring all stakeholders together from the start to agree objectives, clarify where the focus should be and take more coordinated action.
This was exactly the approach we took with the SE Trustees.
Working together on 3D funding in this way produced some impressive results for their scheme. In fact, we developed a strategy that reduced the allocation to growth seeking assets by around 40% with a corresponding fall in risk.
This also left the scheme better able to absorb the occasional surprise event, which is always liable to turn up at some point, and helped to stabilise the company's future contribution schedule.
It just goes to show that the tried and tested way of doing things isn't always the best. Because you never know when an innovative solution might come in handy… even if it means opening a lift with a coat hanger.
So if you think we could help you and would like to know more, please give us a call. We'd be happy to arrange a meeting… on the ground floor, if possible.