We provide objective and independent assurance that your internal control processes, risk management, and governance are effective.
Our focus is to provide evidence to your stakeholders that effective management is in place and, where improvements could be made, we offer remedial actions and advice.
Your internal controls over the strategic, financial and operational procedures of your organisation should be checking regularly to see if they are delivering to the standards you require.
Our internal controls review assesses whether your organisation operational effectiveness has been achieved. We look at:
An independent review gives you the assurance that your stewardship is on a solid foundation.
As contract-based schemes are direct arrangements between the employer and the provider offering the scheme, employers need to establish a governance committee to ensure their employees are getting the best possible pension from the provider.
Governance committees do not have the powers of a trustee-based scheme governance board, but they are able to conduct reviews of the work of the scheme provider and to ensure good management and optimal investment choices.
We help guide your governance boards or committees so that they are aware of the regulatory requirements of their schemes, and help them monitor the scheme in place. We can advise on good management practices, give updates on changing legislation, and help them mitigate risk.
We support and guide you in managing risks.
We offer specialist skills in fraud, cyber-risk, guidance for GDPR.
We also assist Pension Funds Trustees in understanding Integrated Risk Management (IRM).
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We offer sector-specific advice and guidance on a wide range of issue that concern the good running and efficient management of contract-based Pension Funds schemes.
We offer in-depth experience at the right level for you.
We can explain the new governance statement disclosures and provide assurance services to support your disclosures, particularly around:
We ensure you know the necessary information to be gathered and timeframes, so they can successfully meet the required timescales.
Shona Harvie, one of our Pension Funds Partners, is Chair of the Pensions Research Accountants’ Group (PRAG) Executive Board, a member of the PRAG SORP working party and joint Chair of the PRAG/Investment Management Association working party which worked to develop and implement the new SORP.
We can help your organisation achieve AAF accreditation, as your independent Reporting Accountant.
Our assurance reports cover the Master Trust Supplement to AAF 02/07, and also extend to ensuring compliance with the International Standards for Assurance Engagements (ISAE) No. 3402.
Trustees are required to consider and report against quality standards developed by the Pensions Regulator. The master trust assurance framework allows trustees to demonstrate they have established suitable governance controls in accordance with regulatory guidance.
Reporting on internal controls under the assurance framework AAF 01/06 issued by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW) has been widely adopted by third party pension scheme administrators. Many pension scheme trustees will not allow a third party administrator to act for their scheme unless the administrator has adopted this reporting standard.
The Assurance framework was developed by ICAEW and the Pensions Regulator. Andrew Penketh, Head of Pension Funds, was a member of the working party that developed AAF 01/06 and chairs the working party that developed the Master Trust Supplement to AAF 02/07. Phil Spary, Director, was responsible for designing and delivering the framework while working at the Pensions Regulator.
The Pensions Regulator has the power to appoint independent trustees to act for pension schemes on expedient or protective grounds, to ensure that schemes are properly administered and members are protected.
For an independent trustee to be considered for such an appointment, the Pensions Regulator must be satisfied that the independent trustee operates, and continues to operate, ‘sound administrative and accounting procedures’, in relation to their own business affairs. In order to join or stay on a register of independent trustees maintained by the Pensions Regulator, an independent reporting accountant must report on the relevant procedures at the independent trustee which is submitted as part of the trustee register application pack for consideration by the Pensions Regulator.