Inside Pensions

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Inside Pensions's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Inside Pensions is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Highlighting best practice
Celebrating as a team
ounded in 2008, Inside Pensions has grown from a boutique
business to the largest independent pensions executive support
provider in the UK. Based in St Albans, Hertfordshire, their core
philosophy has always put the clients’ needs, and those of their
team, at the centre of everything they do. Directors Ryan Powell and
Rachael Fortescue explain that Inside Pensions works closely with
over 50 UK pension schemes to ensure they have the highest level of
governance achievable and deliver the best value for their members.
Our growth has been organic, increasing the range of our offerings so we deliver
an impressive combination of services to our existing UK pension trustee clients
while adding new appointments year on year. We have never lost a client to a
competitor, and through our holistic approach to service provision, the scope of our
original mandates has been considerably expanded. We continually strive to build
best practice until it becomes routine. Martin Carroll, Co-Chair of the First UK Bus
Pension Scheme, said “We have made many decisions in the last five years but the
best decision by far was appointing Inside Pensions to provide secretariat support.”
Our success
Our approach recognises our strengths as a business, as a team and as individuals. We
strongly believe that to succeed in a fiercely competitive industry, Inside Pensions needs
to continue to embrace diversity and flexibility while allowing our team to be both
empowered and trusted. We deliberately ensure that our team is diverse in a number of
ways, by age, by gender, by strengths and also by background. This means that we have
a wide pool of differing talents that we can call upon to meet our clients’ needs. Our
tailored client teams ensure a cost-effective solution, delivering real value for money.
We succeed as a team so it is really important that we also celebrate our successes
as a team. For our most recent celebration, we took a table at Ascot and ran a
draw in the office to select those who would attend. We’re just deciding where to
take the next group of winners.
We are not only flexible in how we work with our clients, but also with our team.
Our role is very varied, attending trustee meetings, dealing with a wide range of
advisers and suppliers, ensuring best practice governance is implemented by our UK
pension scheme clients. Precision is key.
Allowing our team to work according to both our clients’ needs and their individual
schedules means that traditional offices hours rarely coincide. Working from home,
from client sites and in-office hot-desking allows our staff to achieve impressive
results while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
»Directors: Ryan Powell and
Rachael Fortescue
»Founded in 2008
»Based in St Albans,
»Services: Trustee executive
»No. of employees: 30
»Our UK pension schemes’
clients control over £100
billion of assets
Inside Pensions
Director Ryan Powell
»Core pensions executive
»Strategic and risk reviews
»Co-ordinating liability
management solutions
»Pensions manager support
Ad hoc
trustee training
»Pensions communications
»Third party adviser reviews
Our flexibility has enabled us to recruit,
nurture and retain the very best talent
available. Each member of the team
has taken the Gallup Strengthsfinder
assessment to identify their core
strengths. We then discuss these in our
one-to-ones and wider team meetings
to make the best use of the strengths
we have.
We encourage ideas and suggestions
for continued improvement from all
our staff, regardless of their role or
experience. As a team, we actively seek
feedback from our clients; this allows
us to build strong, effective teams with
a great fit and to deliver consistent
value, reducing our clients’ ever-
growing regulatory burden.
Flexibility case study – Judith
Codling, senior scheme
With over 20 years in the pensions
industry, I joined Inside Pensions
in 2016. As a single mum with a
football-mad 15-year-old, I needed a
role which allowed me to juggle my
home commitments with those at
work. In just over two years with Inside
Pensions, I have been promoted to
the role of a senior scheme secretary
and am now a member of the
management team.
In a break from pensions, I had
qualified as a school teacher and
wanted to give back to the education
system. The flexibility that Inside
Pensions has given me, both in
terms of working remotely and with
organising my hours to suit me and
my clients, has enabled me to become
a parent-governor at my son’s school
and a child welfare officer at his
football club.
Embracing the digital age
We are passionate about process
and order and are committed to
providing services that exceed our
clients’ requirements. Our values of
integrity, clarity and simplicity apply
to everything we do. Our tailored
in-house systems, designed through
our wealth of experience, help our
UK pension scheme clients to run
efficiently and effectively. In short,
we provide our clients with the clarity
they need to ensure great governance
beyond just simple compliance.
Our office is largely paperless.
We encourage all our boards and
committees to have soft copy meeting
packs and educate our more mature
trustees around accessing information
digitally. Our bespoke trustee libraries
embrace technology, allowing trustees
to securely access all their essential
scheme documents in one place
and track their running costs on a
The future
Being flexible and nimble has allowed
us to continually evolve to meet the
growing demand for outsourced
services. To expand the range of
services we provide in 2019 and
beyond, we continue to recruit
seasoned, high-quality team players to
complement our existing experienced
talent and help a new generation of
pension schemes thrive and flourish.
As the pensions world switches from
the paternalism of defined benefit
schemes to the individualism of
defined contribution, our dedication to
strong governance support continues
to help our expanding client base to
face their challenges. In summary,
trustees need an experienced pair of
hands to help them map the future
and ensure the best possible outcomes
for their members. Our oversight of
the changing pensions landscape,
gained by our continued work on
over 50 schemes, puts us in a strong
position to compete and guide, with a
consistency of service second tonone.
Director Rachael Fortescue
We have made
many decisions in
the last five years
but the best
decision by far
was appointing
Inside Pensions
to provide

This article was sponsored by Inside Pensions. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy