Advisory Roles in Corporate Pension Fund Strategies

Advisory Roles in Corporate Pension Fund Strategies

Did you know companies with defined benefit pension plans are up against big challenges? Issues like people living longer, ups and downs in the financial markets, and more rules to follow are all at play. These problems require strong plans to manage pension funds well and keep finances stable for the future.

At Mercer, we get how tricky managing corporate pensions can be. That’s why our advice is so crucial for companies looking to build solid strategies for their pension funds. We’ve advised over 900 pension schemes and oversee £720B in assets. Our know-how and advice deeply affect retirement results.

Key Takeaways:

  • Companies with defined benefit pension schemes face challenges such as increasing life expectancy, volatile financial markets, and heightened regulation.
  • Mercer’s corporate pension advisory service helps companies develop long-term strategies to effectively manage their pension schemes.
  • Areas of advice include accounting for pension costs, risk transfer, investment strategy, member options exercises, longevity, consolidation, master trusts, mergers and acquisitions, and non-cash options/security.
  • Advisory roles in corporate pension fund strategies can enhance retirement outcomes and ensure the long-term financial stability of pension schemes.

Accounting for Pension Costs

Accounting for pension costs is key in managing defined benefit pension schemes. At Mercer, we offer detailed guidance to help companies manage their pension’s financial complexities.

Our experts dive into the pension scheme financials. They look at assets, liabilities, contributions, and investments. With a thorough review, we understand the scheme’s finances and spot challenges.

Calculating the pension expense is a crucial step. We figure out the cost of pension benefits annually. Factors like employee data, investment outcomes, and rules help us estimate this cost. This is crucial for understanding the pension’s financial effects.

Managing Pension Liabilities

Managing pension liabilities is another key part of pension cost accounting. Mercer advises on reducing pension liabilities for their sustainability.

We evaluate options like liability-driven investments and risk transfers. This helps us craft strategies that match companies’ risk levels and goals.

Good pension liability management cuts financial uncertainty, boosts balance sheets, and meets pension duties sustainably.

Image: Illustration representing the complexities of accounting for pension costs.

Risk Transfer

Managing corporate pension schemes often involves risk transfer. Mercer’s advisory service helps companies with this. They guide them through various strategies to lower risks.

A common method is a pension buyout. This means moving the responsibility for pension payments to an insurance company. It helps companies reduce future liabilities. It also lessens financial risks tied to their pension schemes. By doing so, companies ensure their pension scheme’s financial health. They also guarantee a steady income for retirees.

Another path is buying annuities. This converts some or all pension assets into contracts that pay regular pensions. It shifts investment and longevity risks to the insurer. This allows companies to focus on what they do best, without worrying about the pension fund.

Mercer’s service helps companies pick the best de-risking strategies for them. With their expertise, companies can handle their pension schemes well. They can boost financial stability and secure their retirees’ future.

The need for good risk transfer strategies grows as pension schemes get more complex. It’s crucial for managing corporate pensions well. Whether by pension buyout or annuity purchase, it’s a smart move. It lets companies focus on their main work. And it keeps the pension scheme financially sound.

Key Benefits of Risk Transfer:

  • Reduced financial risk for the company
  • Guaranteed income stream for retirees
  • Enhanced financial stability of the pension scheme
  • Freedom to concentrate on core business operations
  • Expert guidance in navigating de-risking strategies

Companies aim to cut risks and keep their pension plans sustainable. Strategies like pension buyouts and annuity purchases help. Working with Mercer, companies can manage pension risks well. They ensure a stable financial future for retirees.

Investment Strategy

Creating a great investment strategy is important for the performance of pension funds. At Mercer, we guide companies through complex investment choices. We help plan their pension fund investments.

We look closely at many factors to set up the best investment mix. This mix matches the company’s financial goals for the future. By spreading investments in different areas, we reduce risks and increase profits.

We know a lot about financial markets and have lots of experience. We always check on investments to find new chances and make smart choices. This way, we can change strategies when markets shift, making sure pension funds meet their goals.

Implementing Effective Portfolio Management

Managing portfolios well is a big part of what we do. We help companies with good governance, so they can make smart investment choices. This keeps their pension funds well-managed.

Our experienced team uses powerful analytics and models to build and manage portfolios. We pick investments carefully and manage them actively. Our goal is to get better returns and lower risks.

“A well-diversified investment portfolio is key for handling market ups and downs and reaching long-term growth.” – Mercer

We give detailed reports and review performances often. This gives companies clear insights into their investment strategies. They can see how their pension funds are doing and what we are doing to improve results.

Unlocking the Potential of Pension Fund Investment

At Mercer, we tailor investment strategies to each company’s needs. This way, we can get the best results from pension fund investments. Our expert advice and insights help companies handle investment challenges and do well.

Our strategy focuses on how to allocate assets, diversify, and manage portfolios and performances. By working with Mercer, companies can handle changes in investments better. This helps their pension funds succeed in the long term.

Member Options Exercises

At Mercer, we help companies with their pension plans. We guide them in offering member options for pensions. These options let employees choose how they want to handle their retirement benefits. They get the flexibility and info needed to decide wisely.

Making choices about retirement is key. Employees have different needs and goals for their pensions. Mercer helps companies show their employees the choices they have. This includes both lump sums and pension income options.

Lump sum payments give a one-off amount to employees. They can use this money however they want. It’s great for those with specific financial plans or investment ideas.

Pension income options, however, offer a steady money flow during retirement. This helps cover living costs and maintain lifestyle. It ensures a fixed income over the years.

Our advice at Mercer helps companies support their workers in retirement planning. We make sure employees know their options well. We explain what each choice means and how it affects their future finances.

Transparency is key in discussing member options. Companies must clearly explain the pension scheme and the options. This includes lump sums and pension income options. Being open allows employees to make informed choices about their pensions.

At Mercer, we see the value in member options for managing pensions. Giving employees choices and guiding them can help achieve their retirement dreams.

Next, we’ll look at how living longer affects pension schemes.


Longevity risk is a big deal for companies handling pension plans. Mercer offers expert advice to manage this risk effectively. They analyze life expectancy and mortality rates. This ensures pension plans are well-funded for retirees’ lifetimes.

Figuring out life expectancy is key to keeping a pension scheme financially sound. With people living longer worldwide, firms must plan for extended retirements. Mercer helps by offering expertise in managing risks related to increasing life spans.

Our work includes looking at demographic data and medical breakthroughs. We also consider death rate trends. This helps us understand longevity risk fully. We check if pension funds are enough to support longer lives. This lets companies prepare for possible funding gaps, keeping pension schemes stable.

Managing longevity risk well helps firms meet their pension promises and improve retirement for workers. Working with Mercer, companies can create smart plans to handle the challenge of longer lifespans in their pension schemes.

Longevity Risk Mitigation Strategies

For handling longevity risk, Mercer uses specific strategies for each pension plan. These methods include:

  • Implementing risk-sharing arrangements with members to help distribute the longevity risk.
  • Exploring innovative financial instruments that offer protection against fluctuations in mortality rates.
  • Assessing the adequacy of pension scheme funding and considering additional contributions if necessary.
  • Reviewing investment strategies and adjusting asset allocations to account for potential changes in longevity expectations.

Mercer works closely with companies to make plans that fit their needs. Our extensive experience means we’re reliable advisors for facing the challenges of longer life expectancy.

Consolidation in All Forms

Consolidation is key when managing pension schemes. It improves efficiency, reduces costs, and enhances governance. Mercer offers advice for companies looking to consolidate their pension schemes. Options include merging schemes or engaging in bulk annuity transactions, both offering significant benefits.

Scheme Mergers

Merging pension schemes means combining them into one. This approach cuts administrative work, reduces expenses, and simplifies management. By doing so, companies can manage risks better and save money through economies of scale.

The process ensures all members receive equal benefits. It also improves how members are communicated with.

Bulk Annuity Transactions

In bulk annuity transactions, part or all pension liabilities are shifted to an insurer. This move gives companies certainty by removing the need for ongoing pension payments. It transfers the risk tied to unpredictable pension liabilities.

Such transactions lead to better risk management and financial stability. Companies find this approach valuable for securing their financial future.

Consolidation lets companies refine their pension plans. Working with Mercer, firms can find and apply the best consolidation strategy for their needs. Mercer’s team provides in-depth advice, considering costs, regulations, and effects on members.

Benefits of Consolidation Scheme Mergers Bulk Annuity Transactions
Improved efficiency Streamlined administrative processes Transfer of liabilities to insurance company
Cost savings Reduced costs Certainty and security
Enhanced governance Simplified governance Risk mitigation
Effective risk management Financial stability

Scheme mergers and bulk annuity transactions simplify managing pension schemes. These consolidation options offer companies and their members better outcomes.

Master Trusts

Mercer advises companies on the benefits of master trusts for their pension schemes. These trusts offer economies of scale, better governance, and less admin work.

Master trusts are popular for their cost-efficiency and effectiveness. By joining forces with others, companies enjoy lower fees. This improves investment chances and retirement outcomes for members.

These trusts also boast of improved governance structures. A specialized board and professionals ensure pension assets are well managed. This aims at securing the scheme’s long-term sustainability.

Moreover, master trusts reduce the load of running a pension scheme alone. Companies use the trust’s expertise, easing the need for handling pensions and regulatory tasks in-house. This lets companies concentrate more on their main business tasks.

However, joining a master trust needs careful thought by companies. They should consider workforce size, scheme’s financial state, and investment aims. Mercer’s experts offer tailored advice, aiding companies in making choices that serve their pension objectives well.

Key Considerations for Implementing Master Trusts

Before implementing a master trust, companies should review:

  • Compatibility with the company’s existing pension arrangements
  • Investment options and performance track record of the master trust
  • Governance and risk management practices of the master trust
  • Communication and engagement strategies with scheme members
  • Financial stability and reputation of the master trust provider

By checking these aspects, companies can make sure the master trust fits their pension strategy. Mercer helps evaluate and select master trusts. They provide valuable support throughout the process.

Benefits of Master Trusts Considerations for Implementing Master Trusts
Economies of scale Compatibility with existing pension arrangements
Enhanced governance Investment options and performance track record
Reduced administrative burden Governance and risk management practices
Communication and engagement strategies with scheme members
Financial stability and reputation of the provider

Mergers and Acquisitions

When companies merge or buy others, they must think about pensions. Mercer helps firms manage these changes smoothly. They guide companies in joining different pension plans together.

Checking the target company’s pension plan is key. Mercer’s experts review its money situation, investment way, and risks. They help firms understand what pension issues they might face after.

It’s vital to handle pension risks well to keep a good reputation. Mercer gives advice on dealing with these issues. They suggest ways to lessen risks and make the pension plan better.

Mercer also helps move pension duties from one plan to another. This makes sure employees’ retirements are not disrupted. It helps the transition go well for everyone.

Mercer’s knowledge make companies confident in mergers or acquisitions. They make sure pension plans from both companies join smoothly. By working with Mercer, firms can deal with pension matters well.

Pension Scheme Implications of Mergers and Acquisitions

Mergers and acquisitions affect pensions a lot. Firms need to think about how these changes will impact pension money, investment ways, and the whole company’s health. Mercer guides firms through this, looking out for employees and shareholders.

Pension Liability Transfer

Dealing with pension liabilities is a big challenge in mergers and acquisitions. Mercer smooths the liability transfer between pension plans. This helps employees and keeps the buying company financially healthy.

Due Diligence in Mergers and Acquisitions

Good due diligence is key in mergers and acquisitions. Mercer’s team checks pension plans carefully. They look at money health, investment ways, and risks. This guides companies to make smart choices and handle pension challenges well.


Advisory roles are vital for managing pension fund challenges and risks. Experts help with accounting, risk transfer, and investment strategies. They also guide on longevity, consolidations, and mergers.

By working with advisors, companies can secure their pension plans. This ensures employees have a stable retirement. It’s about providing a secure future for workers.

Managing pension schemes needs special knowledge. Advisors help firms handle pension fund complexities. They ensure rules are followed and investments are smart.

This leads to better retirement benefits and scheme sustainability. It’s a strategic move for companies.

Companies who focus on pension advice link scheme goals with business objectives. They manage pensions well and use expert advice. This helps keep great employees, lowers risks, and improves retirements.

Working with pension advisors is key for strong pension management. It promises a bright future for both companies and their staff.

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