Our approach to quality

 

 Overview

 

We have created a culture in which our staff can develop and thrive. We have held the Investor in People (IiP) accreditation continuously since 1997 - the most recent audit said we are a “delight to work with, an organisation which ensures all people feel welcomed and valued”.

The vast majority of our administration staff are PMI or QPA qualified or are studying for professional qualifications. This compares to an industry standard of around 15%*. Several of our staff have won national prizes for achieving the highest marks in the PMI exams.

We achieve and maintain high levels of member satisfaction by viewing pension administration as a people process supported by a system, and not the other way around. 

Our main focus is ensuring members get a good service from us and we continuously measure levels of member satisfaction by seeking feedback;

"Well done for writing letters and enclosures in plain English but not treating the reader as a dimwit."

"Very impressed with professional, courteous and efficient manner in which you arranged payment of my pension. Sincere thanks."

Importantly, we also provide clear, easy to understand member communications. Our standard retirement documentation has the Plain English Crystal Mark, a rare achievement amongst third party pension scheme administrators.

*As recently cited by The Pensions Regulator.

 

 

 Insights & 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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    Lifetime allowance: Fixed and Individual Protection 2014
    3 February 2014
    From 6 April 2014 the lifetime allowance (LTA) will be reduced to £1.25m from the 2013-14 tax year level of £1.5m. If your scheme members have already built up pension savings of more than £1.25m (including taking into account pensions already in payment), or have planned to do so in the expectation that the lifetime allowance would not reduce from the 2013-14 level, there is a new form of protection called ‘Fixed Protection 2014’ (FP2014). FP2014 must be applied for by 5 April 2014.

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    New protections from the lifetime allowance charge
    15 January 2014
    The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced in his 2012 autumn statement that the lifetime allowance would be reduced from £1.5m to £1.25m with effect from the 2014/15 tax year. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have subsequently confirmed that there will be two new types of protection available for individuals affected by the reduction: fixed protection 2014 (FP14) and individual protection 2014 (IP14).

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    2014/15 PPF levy Determination
    8 January 2014
    On 11 December 2013, the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) issued its Determination confirming the final details of the 2014/15 levy. It also issued a Policy Statement summarising responses to the earlier consultation and explaining the decisions made.

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    DC governance and administration
    8 January 2014
    On 21 November 2013, the Pensions Regulator’s Code of Practice 13 came into force. The Pensions Regulator (TPR) expects schemes to begin their assessment against the standards set out in the Code immediately.

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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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    Technical changes to auto-enrolment: update
    4 December 2013
    On 11 October 2013, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) published the Government’s formal response to its ‘Technical Changes to Automatic Enrolment’ consultation, which took place earlier this year. On the same day, regulations were laid before Parliament to make some, but not all, of the changes proposed in the consultation.

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    News Alert - Pension Liberation
    22 October 2013

    Hardly a day goes by without the term ‘pension liberation' being mentioned. Following a high profile summit meeting of government departments, agencies and industry representatives in September, HMRC have taken further steps against fraudulent pension liberation, effective from 21 October 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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    2014/15 PPF levy consultation
    20 September 2013
     
    On 5 September 2013, the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) released a consultation document covering proposals for the 2014/15 levy. This is the last year of the first triennium in the PPF’s New Levy Framework under which the PPF intended that the rules used to calculate levies would be unchanged except in limited circumstances.
     


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    Update on tax protections
    10 September 2013
     
    Following the 2012 autumn statement announcement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer that the annual and lifetime allowances would be reduced again, in June 2013 HM Treasury and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) published a joint consultation on a new type of protection from the lifetime allowance, to be known as ‘individual protection 2014’. Also, in July, regulations were made, which are aimed at fixing some problems with the existing fixed protection regime.
     


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    State pension reform and occupational pension schemes
    22 July 2013
     
    In January, the Pensions Minister, Steve Webb, announced a radical reform of the UK state pension system. The Government announced in the March Budget that the proposed changes would take place in April 2016 rather than April 2017 as previously envisaged. The proposals are now contained in the Pensions Bill, which is expected to receive Royal Assent in spring 2014.
     


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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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    Will DWP proposals make auto-enrolment work better?
    19 June 2013
    The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has identified a number of aspects of the auto-enrolment legislation which it believes could be improved and simplified, especially before the majority of medium-sized and smaller employers reach their staging dates.


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    High Earners & Contributors: Survival Guide
    10 September 2012
    Update: September 2012
     
    We are now producing additional survival guides on some of the more technical aspects of the new taxation regime. If you would like to see any of these notes, please contact Sarah Tolson for a copy.

    14: Multiple Normal Pension Ages and the annual allowance
    13: Scheme pays in the year of retirement
    12: How deferred members may be caught by the annual allowance charge
    11: Using pension benefits to pay the annual allowance charge: scheme pays in practice

    10: HMRC provides further detail on fixed protection
    9: HMRC revises its interpretation of the carry-forward rules
     
    Further notes will cover topics such as on the ‘carve-out’ from the annual allowance for deferred members, the valuation of benefits for the purpose of the annual allowance and the new ‘scheme pays’ provisions.
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    In the 2009 Budget, the Government announced fundamental changes to the way that pensions will be taxed from 2011 for high earners and introduced immediate measures designed to prevent individuals increasing their pension savings in anticipation of these changes.

    These changes will affect not just high earning individuals but also companies, trustees and pensions managers. At the Punter Southall Group, we can draw on a range of expertise to enable us to provide advice to all of these parties. We can ensure that:
    • companies have the right remuneration strategy in place for their key staff;
    • individuals make the right decisions on their pension based on their circumstances; and
    • trustees can implement the new information and administration requirements effectively.
    We are now launching our “High Earners & Contributors: Survival Guide”. Through a series of straightforward and focused briefing notes, we will help you to develop an understanding of the changes ahead and keep you up to date with developments as they occur.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

     

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

 Online services

 
    MyPension.com
    MyPension.com is Punter Southall's website for providing clients and members access to their pension benefits online.
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    PS Planner
    An interactive web-based retirement planning assistant for members of defined contribution pension schemes.
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    Visit the Online services area to access our full range of online modelling tools and facilities
    Speak to us

    Speak direct to our specialists in this area
    Richard Thomas
    Director of Pensions Administration
    Or call us on
    020 3327 5000