PMI Crest
PMI
When the going gets tough, the tough get going
11 September 2020

When the going gets tough, the tough get going

Pensions Administration has to be one of the most exciting jobs in the world. With the drift towards Defined Contribution (DC), the importance of administration, automation, Artificial Intelligence and member communication makes it even more so. While everyone gets excited about FANGS (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google and Spotify), I can quite happily get my kicks right here, right now.

Operational analytics

My typical week starts and ends with internal meetings, reports and analytics. Work inflow, transaction completion levels, Service Level Agreement (SLA) attainment, resourcing levels and more. We start the week ensuring load balancing between teams, identifying spikes in work, critical projects and holiday schedules. Are there any efficiencies we could gain, could automation help, or do resources need to be moved around? We end the week with an operational review, lessons learned and key deliverables for the following week, month, quarter or even year.

Technical & regulatory

The next priority is always legislation, as any misstep in this area can land the business in serious regulatory and legislative trouble. The Government and regulators keep us on our toes. We might need to add some anti-scam literature into member communication, catch up with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and other administrators to review where we are on the on the Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) reconciliation process or review the Pension Administration Standards Association’s (PASA) latest guidance on transfers. Every change in legislation can have a huge impact on pension administration operations and it is therefore important to keep close to new legislation to ensure that it is created whilst keeping in mind.

Client communication and stakeholder management

On one side, pension administration is all about communication to scheme members. At the other end, at the core of our business, it is all about managing clients. With a large client base there will always be significant projects running on a quarter of them at any one time. A data cleanse, acquisition, buy-in or de-risking exercise. Managing client expectations and delivering the very best service every single time is always a challenge, but that is the joy of high quality customer service.

Solution development

The best part of pension administration for me is definitely evolving new solutions. Investigating Artificial Intelligence to provide DC guidance to members, biometrics to tighten up member ID verification or rolling out a new interactive website to help members manage their pensions from wherever they may be in the world. My current project is creating an integrated administration-advice solution to protect members as they make choices around retirement options.

Yes, there are downsides to the job. I have three hours of compliance training to look forward to this week, invoices to check and pay, suppliers to be negotiated with and new business pitches to attend. However, the breadth of experience available within pension administration means that there are always multiple challenges to be juggled at any given time.

Notes/Sources

This article was featured in Pensions Aspects magazine September edition

back to Pensions Aspects Magazine

Last update: 19 January 2021

Girish Menezes
Girish Menezes
Premier Pensions
Head of Administration

Head of Professional Services

Salary: £65000 - £85000 pa

Location: Leeds, West Yorkshire

Pensions Transition Manager – flexible working

Salary: £40000 - £65000 pa

Location: East Sussex

Junior Project Manager 12 month FTC

Salary: £20000 - £25000 pa

Location: County Durham

You may also like:

Your scheme is bespoke... why isn’t your LDI solution?
09 April 2021

Your scheme is bespoke... why isn’t your LDI solution?

Liability Driven Investment (LDI) has become an increasingly important part of pension funding, with over half of UK pension schemes liabilities now hedged using LDI1.

Read more
Cyber justification - a question of security?
09 April 2021

Cyber justification - a question of security?

If I asked you about cyber security, what would come to mind? You might think about nineties-era fussy firewalls, or the guards from Tron with their laser-frisbees. And many of us will know someone for whom the term means sticking a bit of tape over the camera on their laptop.

Read more