As the UK population ages, pension schemes are becoming more
complicated and costly for companies to account. Ernst & Young
UK (E&Y) has responded by creating a team of dedicated
professionals to provide pension advice to corporate clients.

The pensions advisory team comprises of 20 actuaries and
advisors who are experts on defined benefit schemes. The team
covers a range of advisory services, such as managing
pension-related liabilities and how they interact with pension
scheme assets to steering companies and their advisers in the areas
of financial reporting and mergers and acquisitions. E&Y
claimed it is able to draw on corporate recovery and tax experts to
offer a much wider service than is typically found in niche pension
consultancies. There are also plans to broaden expertise within the
team.

The team is headed by lead partner Terry Simmons, who joined the
firm this month from PricewaterhouseCoopers UK (PwC). Other senior
appointments include second partner Iain Brown, who is a former Aon
Consulting head of financial risk consulting, and director Chris
Bown, also from PwC.

Simmons told IAB the team was established due to
increasing client demand and a desire to pool pension expertise.
“It completes the range of skill sets that E&Y needs to be able
to fully advise its clients on pension issues. It’s really linking
together all the relevant skills so that we’re effectively joining
together rather than just doing purist pension work,” Simmons
said.

“A lot of our clients have got the problems that everyone has got
around final salary pension schemes. The partners here at Ernst
& Young that weren’t leading on engagements were finding it
frustrating that it was an area that Ernst & Young didn’t have
the expertise to deal with. There was that pull from the
clients.”

Simmons predicts pensions work will continue to rise as companies
find they have insufficient assets to the cover the pension
liabilities of an ageing workforce.

Arvind Hickman