A defined benefit pension team – your responsibilities are ours

Defined benefit schemes are complex and require considerable resource and expertise to deliver good outcomes for your members and stakeholders. Whether you are a trustee or a sponsor of a defined benefit pension scheme, Mercer provides tools that can help you identify and mitigate risks, take advantage of opportunities and achieve your scheme's goals.

Mercer’s defined benefit pension specialists are committed to helping defined benefit schemes meet their obligations.

  • Supporting you with developing and implementing an optimal strategic plan to meet your objectives with an appropriate risk profile. 
  • Delivering investment strategies in a practical, cost-effective way, to help manage risk and access opportunities. 
  • A dedicated pension risk transfer team to reduce your scheme’s risks using the full range of solutions, no matter what your scheme’s size.
  • Governance and scheme management solutions that provide you with the framework and controls to run your scheme effectively.

Our scale means we dynamically expand the team to bring the right professionals on board to help your organisation’s specific issues as they arise. 

How Mercer works with defined benefit schemes

We can help your scheme account for and manage current and future DB liabilities as well as helping migrate your pension planning so you can offer employees a dynamic benefit that rewards and retains them.

Our defined benefits schemes consultancy services include:

  • Mercer DB Master Trust pension

    The Mercer DB master trust pension is a consolidation option that brings together Mercer’s range of professional expertise with the buying power of our fiduciary management platform.
  • Pension trustee consulting

    Pension trustees need to make complex decisions every day. Our pension consulting and pension trustee services help trustees of defined contribution and defined benefit pension trustees to deliver their strategic objectives.
  • Pension trustee governance

    An effective system of pension trustee governance is at the core of every well-run pension scheme. Ensuring that you have all of the policies and procedures in place to achieve this will lead to better outcomes for your members and give you more time back to focus on your strategic aims.
  • Corporate pensions consulting

    Mercer is a leading global pensions consulting firm. Our corporate pension advisory service helps businesses manage the costs and risks associated with their defined benefit pension schemes. Our expertise enables us to help our clients thrive through even the most challenging economic conditions.
  • Risk transfer

    Mercer’s pension risk transfer team works with trustees and sponsors of DB schemes to help assess their own scheme’s circumstances. We can advise on your strategic objectives and which pension risk transfer activities might best support these along the journey.
  • GMP equalisation

    Whether you are carrying out a GMP equalisation project or combining GMP equalisation with a GMP rectification exercise, Mercer’s approach to GMP projects is simple, agile and tracked.
  • LGPS

    We understand the complexities of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS). Mercer's LGPS team has the expertise and experience to guide you through the challenges and opportunities faced by LGPS funds as the landscape for public sector pension provision changes.
  • Sustainable investment

    Drawing on two decades of experience, we offer research, advice, tools and solutions to help you wherever you are on your sustainable investing journey.
  • Employer Covenant

    Mercer’s covenant team draws on our funding and investment expertise to provide you with the full range of advice. Because we advise trustees and corporate sponsors we understand each side’s needs.

What works for your defined benefit scheme

There are many issues facing DB schemes, and these challenges are growing in number and complexity with recent examples including:

  • defining and managing long-term funding objectives, working with all stakeholders.
  • increasing regulation and strategic drivers to address environmental, social, and governance risks.
  • the requirements of the new Code of Practice, notably the need to carry out an own risk assessment and have in place an effective system of governance.
  • accounting for cyber risk.

More than ever, well-run defined benefit schemes have sponsors and trustees working together; collaboration is essential to ensure the best outcomes for all of their stakeholders.

Decision making and defined benefit schemes

Many defined benefit schemes have either set or have a good idea of what their endgame is, whether that be securing all liabilities with a third party or reaching low dependency. We help schemes plan their journey and ensure every decision taken gets them a step closer to achieving their objectives.

Defined benefit schemes and consolidation

There is a spectrum of consolidation options available to defined benefit schemes designed to create efficiencies and mitigate risk. These include:

  • employing a professional trustee either as part of your existing trustee board or as a sole trustee.
  • partial or full fiduciary management to help navigate increasingly complex investment markets.
  • transferring your scheme into a defined benefit master trust, to gain economies of scale.
  • completing a risk transfer transaction with an insurer.
  • superfunds and capital backed journey plans.

Whilst consolidation may not be right for every defined benefit scheme, we help trustees and sponsors consider these options and how they might help with any of the issues the scheme is facing and fit with the overall goals of the scheme.

How Mercer can manage and innovate your DB scheme needs

Pressures on trustees and sponsors of defined benefit pension schemes continues to grow. The governance burden increases. Investment Markets get more complex and the availability of capital for deficit reduction contribution continues to be squeezed.

How can Mercer Help

The ultimate goal of a defined benefit pension scheme is making sure all members receive the benefits and service they are entitled to, whilst ensuring the sponsor remains financially viable.

Mercer will work with you to meet the expectations of all your scheme’s stakeholders and ensure that your scheme is prepared for the future.

Contact our defined benefit specialist team for more information on the specific services and solutions we offer.

Looking after a defined benefit scheme needn’t be complex. We provide practical advice and tools, and a client point of view, that will always be tailored to your objectives.
Tess Page

Partner and UK Wealth Trustee Leader

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