Dear Media Colleague

This press pack is intended to help you find useful (and readily available) contacts to get quotes and background on all your pension stories, as and when you need them.

As the trade body for the pensions advisory and service sector, the Society of Pension Professionals is better placed than any other organisation to provide you with incisive and informed views and information on ALL pensions matters.

This document contains three elements:-

  • readily available contacts
  • Society of Pension Professionals background
  • ready-to-use list of topics, on which the Society can offer quotes/statements.

Contact Panel

To help you get hold of someone to talk to whenever you’re up against a deadline, we’ve assembled the following contact panel:-


The Society’s President
Hugh Nolan, Spence & Partners Limited
Hugh Nolan
E:
Hugh_Nolan@spenceandpartners.co.uk
T: 020 7495 4619/ M: 07816 223 681


The Society’s Chairman
Sir James Hodge 
JamesHodge2
E:
sirjameshodge@hotmail.com
T: 020 7353 1688  / M: 0780 305 2615


PR Committee Chairman
Bob Campion, Charles Stanley

E:
Bob.Campion@charles-stanley.co.uk 
T: 020 7340 9291


The Society’s Immediate Past President
Duncan Buchanan, Hogan Lovells International LLP
DB copy1
E: duncan.buchanan@hoganlovells.com
T: 020 7296 5177 / M: 07768 988 836


The Society’s Secretary
John Mortimer 
johnmortimer - copy 2
E:
 john.mortimer@the-spp.co.uk
T: 020 7353 1688


Our media consultants are Smithfield (Tel: 020 3047 2000 – Switchboard) and contacts there are:-

Visit the Society’s website www.the-spp.co.uk for further information.

How we can help you

The Society’s unique membership mix and access to the wide-ranging expertise of its members allows it to provide informed comment and advice that:

  • is unbiased (for instance we don’t just represent defined benefit schemes or big schemes, we represent providers and advisers of all pension products)
  • focuses on the needs of the users of our members’ services – those who pay the bills
  • takes account of all the disparate strands of pensions issues – regardless of which Government department or other source they come from – providing the ‘joined-up’ thinking so often lacking in pensions matters.

The advantage of this position has long been recognised by policy makers and legislators, who repeatedly and routinely consult the Society.  This expertise will, we hope, also be useful to media people like you.

The Society and what it does

The Society is the representative body for the providers of advice and services needed to establish and operate occupational and personal pension schemes and related benefit provision.

Our Members include:-

  • accounting firms
  • solicitors
  • life offices
  •  investment houses
  • investment performance measurers
  • consultants and actuaries
  • independent trustees
  • external pension administrators.

Slightly more than half the Members are consultants and actuaries. The Society is the only body to focus on the entire spectrum of pension-related functions across the whole range of non-State provision, through such a wide spread of providers of advice and services.  We do not represent any particular type of provision.

The overwhelming majority of the 500 largest UK pension funds use the services of one or more of the Society’s Members.  Many thousands of individuals and smaller funds also do so.  The Society’s growing membership collectively employs some 15,000 people providing pension-related advice and services.

The Society has two fundamental aims:-

  • to draw upon the knowledge and experience of Members so as to contribute to legislation and other general developments affecting pension and related benefit provision. We are consulted by a broad range of policy- forming and regulatory bodies.
  • to provide Members with services useful to their businesses.

The Society works for its Members by providing:-

  • Access to information on current and coming developments, through its newsletter, technical circulars and special information services.
  • Opportunities to engage with fellow practitioners through evening speaker meetings, in various cities in Great Britain, on current practical issues; workshops for senior policy-making personnel and its annual conference.
  • Contact with the Society’s specialist sub-committees on technical questions and concerns of general interest.
  • A channel to and from legislators and regulators, through which the views of Members on existing and proposed rules and legislation are expressed.  The Society maintains contact with a wide range of Government departments and other groups, both in the UK and the rest of Europe, and makes a professional, practical and constructive contribution to discussion on the many complex issues in the field of benefit provision both on broad policy questions and on more detailed technical matters.

Subjects we can help you with

The following is a (non-exhaustive) list of topics on which we’d be happy to give quotes. It is not intended to be comprehensive – merely to give you an idea of the wide range of stories/subjects, on which the Society may be able to speak with authority.

  1. Auto-enrolment
  2. State Pensions
    • Means testing
    • Contracting out
  3. DB Schemes
    • PPF operation and financing
    • Clearance procedures
    • Scheme-specific funding
    • Conflicts of interest
    • Transfer values
    • Investment strategy/LDI
    • Accounting standards
    • The Buy-Out market
    • Scheme design
  4. DC Schemes
    • Governance (e.g. trust and contract)
    • Investment strategy (particularly defaults)
    • SIPPS
    • Decumulation
    • Annuity purchase
    • Charging structure
    • FSA regulatory regime
  5. Tax
  6. Trustee knowledge and understanding requirements
  7. Discrimination issues