Deloitte expands its pensions advisory practice

Business advisory firm Deloitte is planning to treble the size of its pensions advisory service practice within four years.

As part of the plans, Deloitte will provide clients with services across three areas, including the funding of pension schemes, benefits strategy for employees and day-to-day pensions operations. 

The move is in response to pension challenges becoming increasingly complex and pervasive for many of Deloitte’s public and private sector clients.

The new multi-disciplinary pensions practice will draw on expertise from across the firm including corporate finance, actuarial, tax, treasury, assurance and Drivers Jonas Deloitte property experts. Initially it will consist of more than 200 professionals.

Andrew Mewis, partner and head of Deloitte’s Pensions Advisory Group in the Midlands, said: “Whilst this is a national initiative, the plans that are in place to expand the pensions advisory practice will broaden our service capability across the Midlands.

“It’s an important move given the challenges faced by our clients, which range from dynamically reducing pension scheme deficits to ensuring companies’ pensions systems are capable of dealing with legislative changes announced as part of the Government’s reform of UK taxation. 

“We’ve created a cross-firm team with the knowledge and experience to work with companies on solving every aspect of these challenges.”

Last year Deloitte launched the Pension Funding Partnership (PFP), which enables organisations to utilise their asset base to finance pension deficit obligations. To date, Deloitte’s PFP has been used to fund more than £2 billion of pensions deficit obligations representing more than 75 per cent of the market activity in asset-backed partnership structures. 

Deloitte expects to announce a further £2 billion of PFP transactions over the coming months. The firm is also in discussion with a number of public sector organisations on the use of PFPs.    

Mr Mewis said: “Deloitte PFP transactions have established a new approach to deficit management – one that balances the needs of business to find an affordable and cashflow-efficient way of meeting its pension obligations, with the needs of the pension scheme to improve the security of benefits for its members. 

“We welcome the Pensions Regulator’s recent guidance that alternative funding arrangements can improve the support provided to a pension scheme, reduce risk to members and, at the same time, strengthen the covenant of the sponsoring employer.  In appropriate circumstances, alternative funding mechanisms can be an effective and more affordable way of funding schemes for an employer.”

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