Amusement Equipment’s Defined Benefit Scheme was costly to run, with unknown liabilities that worried its directors. The company struggled to find a specialist adviser prepared to help wind up its small Scheme.
"First Actuarial delivered the outcome we wanted. Everyone is satisfied – both Employer and beneficiaries. Without First Actuarial, the pain of running the Scheme could have continued for years to come. Few actuarial advisers are interested in small schemes like ours, so we struggled for years trying to find someone to help us. However we finally got what we wanted from First Actuarial. To any company in the same situation, I would recommend them without hesitation."
Following years of unsatisfactory pensions administration, Scheme trustees and management of Patersons of Greenoakhill Ltd were impressed with the turnaround when they appointed First Actuarial to support their Defined Benefit Scheme.
"I couldn’t speak more highly of First Actuarial. Their fees are great value for money. It’s a joy to work with them, because they cover every angle. So many things have happened over the years, but they haven’t missed a beat – they’ve always been on top of everything. I think they are excellent, and such nice people too. If anybody has concerns about their scheme, I wouldn’t suggest going anywhere else."
First Actuarial has delivered great value since being appointed as pension administrators for Saffron Building Society. And by centralising member communications and updating member records, they have saved both money and time for the Society
"First Actuarial’s administration team is very responsive. I know they’ll get back to me on the same day or the following one. This is particularly important needs information. They’re well organised and supportive to me in my role as secretary to the trustees. I came into this demanding role with no pensions experience, and First Actuarial have been on hand with help and advice. The administration team is always there for me, and we get great value for money."
Concerned about the risk of an Employer contribution increase as a result of high liabilities, Trustees of the Kennel Club Pension Fund turned to First Actuarial.
"They’re extremely professional and helpful. Their input always seems sound, logical and well presented. First Actuarial handled the transition well, they provide us with helpful guidance, and have delivered what they promised when they pitched for the work."
Housing association Aster Group extended its financial wellbeing programme and brought in First Actuarial to deliver a bespoke Retirement Planner, with supporting webinars and one-to-one sessions.
"People love the one-to-ones and are grateful for them. It’s a valuable offering that would otherwise cost them hundreds of pounds. People recognise it as a real benefit."
Trustee Directors of the PremierFirst Vehicle Rental Pension Scheme struggled to find documents, and needed staff support and storage space for the archive held by the employer, Europcar, until they moved to the Client Hub.
"First Actuarial offered us a sensible and well-priced proposition. They supported us very well in uploading all our information in a structured way. We’re not aware of any document going missing in the process. And it’s maintained very well."
Concerns about the mounting costs of a Defined Benefit (DB) Scheme in the oil and gas sector came to a head when a valuation revealed the need for 50% employer contributions. After presenting all the options, First Actuarial supported the Trustees through a successful Scheme wind-up that benefited both the company and members.
"The costs of running a DB Scheme were continually increasing for a company in the oil and gas industry. "
With First Actuarial’s governance and scheme secretarial service, Diabetes UK benefits from proactive and efficient support that covers every risk and eventuality.
"I’ve never regretted appointing First Actuarial to carry out governance and scheme secretarial services. They pass every test with flying colours and we feel very lucky. Running a pension scheme involves managing significant risks that can put organisations under acute financial pressure. So it’s worth getting the right tailored service to manage that risk.”"
The risk of a significant cessation debt hung over Watford Community Housing (WCH) as the number of its employees participating in the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) diminished. WCH asked First Actuarial to find an approach to mitigate this risk.
"First Actuarial are very approachable. They’re good at helping managers and Board members digest a very complex and difficult area, and they’ve also been proactive in helping us shape an innovative solution."
As a result of an unusual clause in their trust deeds, Trustees of the pension scheme sponsored by the Society of British Aerospace Companies (SBAC) funded their liabilities on a buy-out basis.
"First Actuarial are very proactive. They respond quickly and get things done. They have proved to be competent and conscientious, and have a very professional and personable approach to business relations."
The Communication Workers Union (CWU) enlisted the help of First Actuarial when Royal Mail proposed replacing its Defined Benefit pension fund with individual Defined Contribution arrangements.
"I can’t speak highly enough about First Actuarial – their people have been brilliant. The journey has been inspirational, nothing but a positive experience."
Hachette UK, one of the UK’s largest publishing groups, turned to First Actuarial to help improve staff engagement with pensions.
"One of the things I like about First Actuarial is that they’re very responsive. You never have to chase them for anything. They’re pragmatic and cost-effective."
The RSPB was determined to minimise the impact of its new defined contribution scheme on employees, and appointed First Actuarial to support the transition and select a provider with strong ethical values.
"I would definitely recommend working with First Actuarial. Their consultants went over and above the call of duty to make sure the project progressed smoothly."
Taking responsibility for care services previously provided by a local authority, Bolton Cares turned to First Actuarial for help in setting up a competitive and affordable DC pension scheme for its staff.
"They’ve been really helpful and professional throughout the project, and we’ll use them again if we need specialist advice."
From websites and webinars to one-to-one discussions, First Actuarial’s financial wellbeing programme meets the needs of all employees and receives rave reviews at a leading fast moving consumer goods business.
"First Actuarial staff have a real passion about financial wellbeing. They make a real difference to people’s lives by helping them manage their finances properly. And that comes through in their energy and commitment to everything they do."
First Actuarial partnered with Bromford to communicate extensive pension scheme changes and improve financial wellbeing, delivering more than 40 group presentations to 1,200 colleagues.
"Working with First Actuarial was a highly professional partnership that had a positive effect on our colleagues. We received great feedback on both the group and one-to-one sessions they ran."
With substantial increases in Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) contributions looming for independent schools, Cheam School looked to First Actuarial for specialist support.
"We had a very good experience working with First Actuarial. I felt that they were always on the end of the phone, available to help and respond to issues as they arose."