Managing cost

Our range of employer advisory services, modellers and online tools enable employers to ensure costs are controlled whilst corporate objectives are satisfied.


The next step for any employer with a final salary pension scheme deficit is to agree an affordable recovery plan.

We can help:
  • ensure you have up-to-date knowledge on your scheme’s position through our online tools
  • understand the expected developments in, and options for change for future pension arrangements, enabling you to ensure your pension provision is affordable and sustainable
  • negotiate with trustees about de-risking initiatives, benefits changes and pension scheme funding assumptions, in particular managing the approach taken to agreeing the level of prudence
  • plan for the introduction of auto-enrolment from your staging date – for example, by helping you prepare for the potentially higher pension costs, or understanding the impact prior to a merger or acquisition
  • minimise the risk-based levy payable to the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) by taking actions which reduce the assessed pension deficit and assumed probability of insolvency


 Insights and views

    Corporate Bulletin: Quarter 1 2014
    3 April 2014
    Welcome to this new edition of our quarterly bulletin aimed at defined benefit (DB) sponsors. The recent budget has hit the headlines with some real implications for employers and their pension scheme members. We also talk about the financial conditions at 31 March 2014 and how these might impact pension disclosures at this quarter end alongside market news regarding pension buy-outs and de-risking.

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    Corporate Bulletin: Quarter 4 2013
    3 January 2014
    Happy New Year and welcome to our latest quarterly corporate bulletin. In this edition we discuss market conditions and accounting assumptions at the end of 2013.

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    Corporate Bulletin: Quarter 3 2013
    4 October 2013
    Welcome to the 30 September 2013 edition of our corporate bulletin. Enclosed is a brief outline of market conditions for those preparing disclosures at this date and some topical news for finance directors.

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    Auto-enrolment: the story so far
    30 September 2013

    October 2013 marks the first anniversary of the formal introduction of the new employer duties. In this note, we review developments since the largest companies have had to comply with the new duties, and look forward to what we can expect in the future.

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    Corporate Bulletin: Quarter 2 2013
    4 July 2013
    In brief:
    • Discount rates will be similar to this time last year although higher expectations of price inflation will increase accounting liabilities by around 5-10% over the year.
    • Pension scheme investments have had a volatile year, although for most schemes overall these will have kept pace with the increase in liabilities. Deficits may have stood still or marginally improved over the year.
    • Companies should seek to engage with trustees regarding the new funding objective at the next triennial valuation. The need for business growth may become a contentious area for discussion.
    • Complex calculation requirements to quantify the accrual of pension benefits for company directors look set to come into force in autumn 2013. Companies should ensure they are ready to meet the new requirements.
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    Corporate Bulletin: Quarter 1 2013
    8 April 2013
    In brief:
    • Lower net discount rates at the quarter end mean that pension scheme liabilities could increase by up to 15% compared with the previous year.
    • However, many companies may see net deficits reported on the balance sheet remain broadly unchanged due to good investment performance over the period.
    • The Financial Reporting Council have published FRS102 which will replace FRS17 for accounting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2015.
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    What if... smoothing is allowed?
    21 February 2013

    What is the current position?

    Actuarial valuations are undertaken based on market prices and yields on the date of the valuation. Assets are taken at market value and liabilities are priced using discount rates set with reference to gilts or other similar markets on the valuation date. Gilt yields have fallen significantly over recent years due in part to quantitative easing and this has led to widening deficits.

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    Visit the Industry Insights page for news and views on the latest industry developments


    A Streamlined Approach to Investment Decision Making
    3 June 2014
    Read more
    Scheme Funding Code of Practice
    18 June 2014
    For Trustees, Finance Directors and those responsible for Pensions and Corporate Risk
    Read more
    Trustee Training - Trustee Knowledge and Understanding (Intensive)
    30 September 2014
    This course addressed the knowledge and understanding requirements
    Read more
    Trustee Training - Trustee Knowledge and Understanding (Intensive)
    4 December 2014
    This course addressed the knowledge and understanding requirements
    Read more
    Visit the Events area for all forthcoming Punter Southall seminars, conferences and events
    Speak to us

    Speak direct to our specialists in this area
    Neil Lalley
    Head of Employer Services
    Or call us on
    020 3327 5000