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Pension scheme managers coordinate the effective operation of pension schemes.

The Pensions Management Institute's professional qualification allows students to specialise in specific areas.

What does a pension scheme manager do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Pension scheme managers are responsible for all aspects of administering pension schemes, from liaising with pension scheme members to developing new pension policies. This can be either for pension providers or within large companies that manage their own pension schemes for their employees. Typical responsibilities include:

  • liaising with employees
  • working closely with human resources staff
  • recruiting, training and/or supervising a pensions administration team
  • developing pension policies and new pension schemes
  • making sure that pension schemes are effective and meet agreed quality, performance and customer care standards
  • resolving complex or controversial individual pensions claims
  • producing marketing material
  • making recommendations to clients and board directors
  • improving schemes in response to feedback from members
  • attending meetings with fund managers, actuaries, solicitors and consultants
  • ensuring compliance with current statutory legislation and regulations
  • writing annual/financial reports
  • managing IT-based pension administration systems.

Typical employers of pension scheme managers

  • Large companies that manage their own pension schemes
  • Public sector pension providers
  • Life assurance firms
  • Consultancies

Opportunities attract moderate competition. Vacancies are advertised in local and national newspapers including the Financial Times, and in a number of specialist publications such as Pensions Age, Pensions World and their respective websites.

Qualifications and training required

This career is open to both university graduates and school leavers. If you want to enter directly at trainee pensions manager level, you will find that some employers prefer graduates with degrees in business, finance or law, while others ask only for A levels/Scottish Highers/ HND. As a school leaver you can also start at administration level and work up by gaining experience and qualifications with a professional body such as the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) or the Pensions Management Institute (PMI). There are several apprenticeships available at administrator level; see the government apprenticeship website for vacancies.

PMI offers an accredited professional qualification that pension scheme managers are required to complete once in employment. Previous relevant experience is not usually required, although some employers do offer summer vacation work experience placements.

For more information about school leaver routes into the profession, see our article on how to get into a career in finance, as well as the finance sector of TARGETcareers, our website aimed at school leavers.

Key skills for pension scheme managers

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Organisational skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Numerical skills
  • IT skills

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