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Scheme Actuary

Willis Towers Watson is one of the leading providers of Scheme Actuary services to UK pension schemes, including a significant number of the largest corporate pension schemes.

Although the role of Scheme Actuary is a personal appointment, our clients are supported by our multi-disciplinary teams which are built to meet their specific needs, drawn from individuals with deep expertise, practical experience and business acumen. Calling on unrivalled experience of developing market-leading, bespoke solutions, we are able to develop and implement cost-effective, streamlined solutions for clients of all sizes. We provide the full range of actuarial and wider consulting services to trustees and companies both in the UK and abroad.

Actuarial services  
  • Performing and reporting on triennial actuarial valuations, including review of the Trustee’s Statement of Funding Principles, and provision of Pension Protection Fund (PPF) valuations.
  • Documenting Schedules of Contributions and Recovery Plans following triennial valuations, including actuarial certification of these.
  • Reviewing the suitability of actuarial factors and preparing new actuarial factors where required.
  • Reviewing the suitability of actuarial assumptions used for transfer calculations and proposing where changes to these assumptions may be required.
  • Preparation of annual Actuarial Reports providing an approximate update of funding position.                                                                                                                     
  • Attendance at Trustee meetings
  • Trustee training
  • Annual advice on PPF levies
  • Individual calculations required for ‘one-off’ circumstances and/or requiring actuarial review
Consulting services  
  • Online monitoring of funding position.
  • Strategic advice on long-term funding strategy, typically a ‘journey plan’ towards settlement or self-sufficiency.
  • Settlement solutions, for example buy-in of current pensioners and other de-risking exercises
  • Advice on AVC arrangements
  • General benefits consulting advice (eg review of Trustee Report and Accounts; assistance with IDR cases).
  • Advice on negotiating around funding.
  • Advice on assessing the strength of the Company’s covenant.
  • Advice on current pension issues, legislative changes and technical updates.
  • Administration and claims management of insured death-in-service and/or long-term disability benefits.
  • Administration and claims management of insured death-in-service and/or long-term disability benefits.
  • Advice on communication strategy, including design and preparation of Trustee’s annual report to members and other communications.
  • Scheme buy out/winding up services
  • Defined contribution consulting
  • Executive financial planning

We have demonstrable experience of helping trustees of large schemes, to understand and manage their pension schemes successfully. This includes:

  1. Clear advice on setting long-term funding targets, taking into account the risks and challenges faced
  2. Working closely with trustees to achieve successful valuation outcomes, including schedules of contributions that are appropriate and sufficient to meet funding shortfalls. This also entails assisting trustees in working collaboratively with the scheme sponsor to achieve mutually satisfactory funding and investment strategies.
  3. Assisting trustees, if needed, in discussions with the Pensions Regulator.
  4. Close collaboration with trustees’ investment consultants to ensure a joined-up approach to scheme funding and investment, including deriving trigger-based frameworks to assist schemes in de-risking over time and supporting longevity hedging decisions
  5. Using our extensive internal technical and thought leadership expertise to provide pro-active advice on responding to legislative and market changes.
  6. Providing complete and comprehensible advice and guidance to trustees in agreeing transfers to and from schemes without member consent and pragmatic and efficient advice and calculations in respect of Section 75 debts.
  7. Working closely with administrators and providing clear advice and instructions on member calculations, such as cash equivalent transfer values, commutation and early retirement factors.
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Trustee Pensions Consulting PDF 1.5 MB
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