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Case Study: Governance support and interim pensions management for large DB and DC Schemes

Background

In 2019 the EY Director of Pensions was due to go on maternity leave. A Pension Manager was sought for a six month cover period to manage both the Defined Benefit Plan (DB) and Defined Contribution (DC)Trust.

Pegasus, represented by Bill Jangra, was appointed to the role. Pegasus was known to EY as it provides governance support to the newly formed DC Trust as Corporate Sole Trustee (CST).

The Pegasus model sees team members work across multiple client arrangements. This allows clients to flex the resource depending on workload. This also means that the experience level across the team is high.

The Challenge

As a large business with a complex structure there is a significant workload within the EY pensions team.

Working with a client with a number of urgent initiatives, significant independence obligations, internal HR and Reward projects, and ensuring effective communication was a challenge for an eight month maternity cover.

How Pegasus delivered solutions and value to EY

Bill delivered business-as-usual tasks relating to the DB and DC pension arrangements, for example:

  • Managing the relevant adviser and corporate relationships
  • Ensuring independence of all stakeholders in line with EY’s role as an audit firm
  • Managing engagement with lobbying around pension investment strategy
  • Delivering on all regulatory requirements
  • Supporting pensions sub-committee
  • Team management

There was also several items on the EY ‘wish list’. Bill leveraged the collective experience of the Pegasus team, who work across 25+ schemes at any given time, to deliver these, including:

  • Advancing de-risking projects (FRO and PIE)
  • Investment transition and member engagement exercise
  • Introducing a preferred ISA provider and the appointment of a panel of advisers
  • Advancing long term strategy discussions
  • Recruitment of a team member to support significant workload

Pegasus’ focus on collaborative working is a mind-set Bill applies to all of his relationships. In order to deliver the tasks required here he:

  • reached out to stakeholders across the business to explain how he could support their work
  • leveraged the historical knowledge of the CST to input into projects
  • met with advisers, many he already knew, to ensure they were working efficiently for the scheme members
  • he worked with the wider Pegasus team to share benchmarking, ways of working and processes that supported efficient delivery of pension objectives

Particularly of note was Bill’s experience and interest in HR and Wellbeing which saw him take on projects not typically within the pensions manager remit. By engaging staff from various areas of the business he worked to keep pensions on the wider agenda, for example ensuring it was fed into HR communications around life assurance and, where possible, pensions was seen as an integral part of holistic wellbeing. All of this feeds into employee satisfaction and retention, a hugely important area for EY.

Outcome

As an experienced pensions governance professional Bill was able to deliver more than many other pensions managers who would take on a maternity cover role. His delivery of BAU and projects went beyond the level expected and he managed to progress activity that would otherwise have stalled.

Bill’s term was extended to seven and a half months in total to allow overlap with the returning pensions Director.

In addition Bill has been retained as Governance Support to EY, a benefit of using Pegasus which many clients take up. This sees him work flexibly for EY and he is able to use the existing relationships he has within the business to continue to support their pension offering.