Help with funding negotiations for Defined Benefit schemes

Funding negotiations for Defined Benefit schemes require careful balancing

Trustees review the funding of Defined Benefit pension schemes every three years, with the help of the Scheme Actuary. The size of any deficit and the agreed recovery plan dictate the amount that you, the employer, will need to pay into the scheme over the following three years.

Trustees are required to be cautious in scheme funding, and to make prudent assumptions. But if they’re too prudent, they will ask you to pay more than necessary into the scheme.

How can First Actuarial help?

We provide high quality actuarial services to help employers understand the level of prudence that trustees are applying to the valuation. This puts you in a stronger position to challenge them, if necessary.

Our assessment can result in a lower deficit, or even a surplus, with reduced or no employer contributions. This isn’t always the case, but once we’ve evaluated the assumptions your trustees are proposing, you’ll know whether there’s room for further negotiation.

We understand how important it is to work quickly and accurately, so you get the information you need at the right time.

Once we’ve made sure the assumptions are reasonable, we can provide a range of options to help reduce your contributions, in ways that are acceptable to both you and the trustees.

Why choose First Actuarial?

We offer our clients extensive experience of funding negotiations. We can usually find the right way to explain the employer’s viewpoint to trustees, reaching agreement without causing conflict. But if the trustees and Scheme Actuary are taking an unreasonable approach, we are not afraid to stand up for our clients and tell them.

We have developed innovative software tools to support our work:

  • Valuation Viewer gives a clear picture of the potential impact of each assumption on actuarial calculations. That means we can focus on the assumptions that matter throughout negotiations, and you can make informed decisions.
  • firstview keeps you up to date with changes to the funding of the scheme, so there are no unwelcome surprises at valuation time.

Our actuaries will challenge conventional approaches where it’s in the client’s best interest. Their in-depth industry knowledge means that they understand the requirements of The Pensions Regulator, so our negotiated solutions will meet your needs while keeping you on the right side of the law.

Get in touch

Get in touch with one of our actuaries to discuss how we can help you

We have worked closely with First Actuarial since 2001. Administratively, they have performed extremely proficiently and well within budget constraints. The senior management team have full confidence in their advice and consequently First Actuarial are held in very high regard.

- Keith Brownlie, HR Director

First Actuarial case studies

Oil and Gas Industry

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...

The costs of running a DB Scheme were continually increasing for a company in the oil and gas industry.


Diabetes UK

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."



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.”

See all our case studies
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