Did you know?
The Essex Pension Fund is in the top ten largest Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) funds in the country and is at the forefront of how pension professionals interpret the impact of a changing regulatory environment across Police, Fire and Local Government Pension schemes looking after over 160,000 scheme members.
We met with Dan, our Retirement Manager to find out more about the Fund and the work his team do.
Hi Dan, tell us a bit about your team – who you are and what you do?
Essex Pension Fund administers the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS), the Firefighters Pension Schemes and the Police Pension Schemes in Essex. This means that we look after your pension from cradle to grave, from helping you save for your retirement during your working life, assisting you through your transition from work to retirement, and finally to making sure your next of kin are looked after by arranging payment of the death benefits. We want all members of the pension schemes to understand how their pensions work so they can plan for their retirements in confidence.
As we’re an occupational pension scheme we also work closely with over 700 different employers, offering training and advice to make sure that they understand their role and responsibilities and making sure that the information needed to administer their employees’ pensions flows swiftly and smoothly between them and the pension fund.
We’re quite a varied team, with roles covering a range of responsibilities from administering the scheme and answering member’s questions by phone, email, or face to face in one of our virtual pension surgeries, to managing the investments for our Fund which is currently over £9bn or supporting the pension fund by developing new digital solutions for our members and employers. We all work together whether in the office or from home, and as a team we make sure that all our members can be assured that their pensions are in safe hands.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
Helping people better understand their pensions. Because people are automatically enrolled in the pension schemes when then start work, they often have a limited understanding of how their pension works and what options they will have when they retire. We are starting to see generational shifts in attitude about work and retirement and there is definitely a greater desire from members to better understand their pensions, and we really enjoy finding new ways to reach members of the scheme and help them find and understand the information that they’re looking for.
What advice would you give to someone who is preparing to save for retirement?
Read your annual benefit statement every year. The best place to start planning your retirement is to understand how much you have already saved, and what you’re on course to receive when you leave work.
Pension schemes all work a little differently so it’s important to understand what options you will have when you retire. Our website includes lots of information and useful tools and videos to help you better understand your pension, and we regularly run pension surgeries (virtually at the moment!) where you can sit down with a member of the pension team and ask us questions about your pension and the scheme generally.
We’re here to help, so even though we can’t give you advice about your retirement plans, we can give you lots of information and help you ask the right questions to make sure you are best placed to make decisions about your future.
To find out more about the Essex Pension Fund click here.
If you’re interested in working for the Pension Fund team, view our vacancies here.