The Closed Scheme
With 100 preserved members, and 50 pensioners, the scheme was becoming an expensive headache for the employer. Only a handful of current employees retained a benefit in the scheme, so despite the cost and time involved in running it, the employer was receiving little benefit.
The sitting administrators took weeks to deal with the most basic query, and the trustees were having to meet six or seven times a year.
With all of the fire-fighting work that was required, administrative costs were spiralling.
When BBS were appointed, a plan was put in place to get the scheme back running on an even keel, over a six month period. On the administration front, we undertook a full data audit, and looked at all of the work outstanding. By writing to each member and explaining the changes that were being made, the members immediately realised that they could stop raising queries, giving the trustees a proper breathing space to deal with everything outstanding. Within a couple of months, all of the work was up to date, with work being completed within five days thereafter.
Our installation audit showed that the data held by the existing administrators did not meet the expectations of the Pensions Regulator. The Trustees agreed that the omissions should be rectified.
The majority of this work was undertaken by the employer (e.g. updating name, address, National Insurance, and employment records) so that costs could be kept to a minimum. Where information could not be provided by the employer BBS traced the members directly using the DWP tracing service and an external tracing agent.
Over the first six months of our appointment, the trustees needed to meet regularly to effect all of the changes that were needed, but they soon managed to reduce their time to two meetings a year.
The employer ended up with a smoothly running scheme at a fraction of the cost, taking up very little of its time, thereby allowing it to concentrate on running its business.
The analysis above highlights a number of areas from real situations that have been experienced by BBS's clients. Some of the points actually occured on separate pension schemes.