The pensions industry is one of the most important sectors in banking and finance – and has a direct impact on all our lives. To mark National Pension Tracing Day on Sunday, Nadim Choudhury outlines what you might expect from a career in pensions advice, management or fund management.
The role of pensions – and how pension providers perform – affects all of us.
Nearly every employee in the UK will have signed up to a private pension scheme through the auto-enrolment process at their work. And the success of these schemes is in all of our interests.
Successive governments have wanted the public to understand how they can save for their retirement. The pensions industry plays an important part in achieving this objective.
If you’re considering a role in the pensions industry, then there are lots of roles and sectors.
You’ll find entry level roles in pension consultancy firms who advise organisations and individuals on developing a pension strategy. Or you could opt to work for a private pension company.
Or you might work for pension fund who invest pension savings in stocks and shares to ensure they grow and accumulate over time.
Pensions management and administration
Pensions require a lot of due process which means there are plenty of roles in companies that offer pensions.
If you like working with people, you might enjoy dealing with enquiries from customers and organisations. Pensions companies also need staff who are good at dealing with lawyers, accountants and financial advisers.
If you’re efficient with a good eye for detail, you may enjoy working in administrating payouts and undertaking compliance issues.
Pensions consulting and advice
This part of the sector is critical. You’re dealing with people’s future livelihoods and both individuals and companies depend on high-level accurate advice.
Some financial advisers specialise in pensions because the pension sector is very complex.
There’s a huge range of products available to individuals. Equally, there are many different types of funds for employers to consider, when creating a company pension scheme for their employees.
There are a variety of roles in this area – from advisory, to planning and execution. It can be a very exciting area to work in.
Pension fund management
Have you graduated with a degree in business, economics or finance? If so, you might consider pension fund management as an alternative to working in asset management or investment banking.
Pension fund managers ensure that capital is invested in funds that will generate longer-term wealth for their customers. This is usually through a range of products such as bonds , equities and other financial services instruments.
The objective is that the total value ‘appreciates’ – or grows in value – over time, ready for when the person who’s investing is about to retire. Customers can then access their money – either through a lump sum or through an annuity, which gives them a fixed monthly income.
Why now is a great time to work in pensions
Now is a good time to join the industry. This is a fast-moving area of banking and finance - especially as the population is ageing and people are retiring later.
In the coming years, we expect to see the pensions industry innovate to allow individuals greater access to their pensions at different throughout their lives.
By joining the pension industry now, you can play a part in these innovations – and by doing so, influence the future for all of us.
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