Atkin trustees, actuaries, consultants & administrators

Risk Management

Over the last ten years, we have seen developments in the actuarial, pensions and investment markets which have greatly increased the ability of trustees, sponsors and local authorities to understand, manage and mitigate their pension risks. This should be irrespective of scheme size.

We work with our clients to help them understand the risks they are exposed to and how these risks can be managed and mitigated within their own specific constraints (such as affordability). We believe the process should not depend on actuarial models and assumptions but instead on real world logic and practicalities. This enables our clients to put in place solutions that have tangible and visible benefits.

We focus on the aspects which can be managed, including the asset allocation, contributions and governance procedures. By modelling how well different strategies control risk and applying common sense, we develop strategies that deliver the pensions promise with predictable, controlled costs.

We can then help our clients put the strategy into practice based on confident risk management decisions. Having a strategy which fits the component risks together empowers our clients to make well timed decisions that capture favourable market prices and build towards their objectives.

We see that the interests of all parties are aligned, i.e. that the scheme avoids a deficit so big that the company is unable to correct it and the scheme ultimately falls into the PPF. A key element of this is having a strong sponsoring employer that is able to support the scheme.

By working with all parties, we can take into account the strength of the company covenant and the key related risks from the perspective of the pension scheme. Risks can then be managed across both the company and the scheme with funding strategies designed to ensure that the company is in the best possible position to support the scheme. This may involve setting up a contingent asset or a parental guarantee where assets can remain in the company but are available for the scheme in the event of wind up.

As a firm we specialise in working with small and medium sized schemes and applying the “large scheme” solutions to these smaller schemes in a cost effective and practical way. We will never just suggest de-risking regardless of circumstances.

Areas of risk we specialise in:

  • Joined-up funding and investment
  • Interest rate and inflation hedging
  • Investment risk diversification
  • Buy-in, buy-out and longevity risk management
  • Reduce or re-shape risk via member option exercises
  • Pension scheme re-design or closure
  • Controlling operational risk
  • Helping schemes to understand and react to changes in legislation
  • Controlling pension costs, including scheme expenses

We have worked with Atkin Trustees for many years on a wide range of cases and issues. They adopt a sensibly practical approach to trusteeship, focusing on outcomes for members. They’re also a nice bunch of people to work with.

Philip W Sutton, Partner, Squire Sanders (UK) LLP