Whether you are a trustee, scheme sponsor or another stakeholder, you can rely on us for the advice and support you need to ensure you make the right decisions on your pension scheme.
We are a long-established employer covenant team. Since 2006, we have undertaken over 1,000 employer covenant engagements for pension stakeholders, delivering robust and practical advice and value for money. Some of those engagements have been high-profile cases such as Uniq, British Steel, Halcrow, Silentnight, Johnston Press and Cattles plc.
Our clients span a broad range of sizes, sectors, complexity and corporate structures, and we advise them on a wide range of matters. Your issues and challenges will be familiar to us and you will get the full benefit of our extensive expertise.
You will also be working with a team that regularly works alongside The Pensions Regulator (tPR) and the Pension Protection Fund (PPF). Our senior staff have worked at tPR and the PPF and members of our team have been seconded to tPR as employer covenant specialists and we have also benefitted from an employer covenant specialist being seconded from tPR into our team.
Our approach to working with you reflects the size and ethos of our team. We are agile enough to be genuinely responsive to your unique needs and to deliver an exceptional partner-led service. Our team comes from a diverse set of backgrounds and includes accountants, insolvency practitioners, an MBA and an actuary.
You will also be able to draw on the expertise and reach of one of the UK’s largest accountancy businesses. We can deliver specialist pensions expertise backed up by a wide range of advisory services including corporate finance, valuations and restructuring and deep sector understanding.
Employer covenant advice and services
Our Pensions Covenant Advisory team provides clients with a broad range of services. You can see a list of our main services below. This is not an exhaustive list and we would be delighted to hear from you about your challenges and how we can help. You can find a description of our experience, expertise and our approach here.
We support trustees and sponsors in respect of their valuations to deliver an optimal outcome, which balances the sustainable growth of the scheme’s sponsor with the requirement to protect members’ benefits.
Employer covenant monitoring
We provide bespoke and proportionate monitoring to ensure that clients are appropriately managing and mitigating their employer covenant risk.
Pension Protection Fund certification
We help trustees certify contingent assets to facilitate savings on their scheme’s annual PPF levy.
We assess the impact of corporate activity on a scheme’s employer covenant. Such transactions include mergers (corporates and schemes), demergers, takeovers, re-financings, recapitalisations and substantial dividend payments. As required, we provide mitigation recommendations that can facilitate negotiation and swift agreement between parties.
Pensions, financial distress and restructuring
We provide advice to trustees and sponsors in respect of both solvent and insolvent restructurings. Solutions include Regulated Apportionment Arrangements, benefit re-design, Company Voluntary Arrangements and Administration.
Regulatory advice and expert witness work
We advise trustees or potential targets in respect of regulatory action by the Pensions Regulator. We also provide expert witness services in relation to employer covenant considerations.
Pensions and corporate risk management
We advise corporates on the funding and risk management of their defined benefit pension obligations to ensure that the level of the technical provisions is appropriate and also that any deficit is funded as efficiently as possible, either via cash contributions or through the use of security, guarantees or contingent assets.
Pensions merger and acquisitions
We support corporate finance teams, private equity investors, hedge funds, vendors and purchasers to understand the pension risks associated with a transaction. We provide clear and concise advice enabling a rapid overview of defined benefit obligations in the UK and other jurisdictions.
Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS)
We advise LGPS funds and employers on employer covenant risks, including: Deferred Debt Agreements, Debt Spreading Arrangements, contribution affordability, and transactional activity (e.g. mergers / demergers). We are also sector experts in many of the Tier 3 sectors which participate in the LGPS.