Defined benefit pension schemes were set up with the best of intentions, but the need for strong governance – to protect members’ benefits – has placed an ever increasing burden on trustees and employers alike. For smaller schemes, the cost of simply meeting red tape prevents them from being able to run as well as they should do or want to.
Whilst there are a number of existing options for schemes that try to address these problems, most notably DB Master Trusts, their impact on reducing costs is ultimately, limited. They also leave members exposed to the risk of their employer’s failure.
Everyone agrees, change is required.
A new but
Created and managed by the Punter Southall Group, who for more than 30 years having been innovating in pensions – helping employers achieve better outcomes – Stoneport has been set-up to solve the problems facing smaller schemes head-on.
Unlike DB Master Trusts, Stoneport’s unique, purpose-built structure enables it to achieve a significantly higher level of cost savings and, dramatically improve member benefit security, bringing different employers’ schemes together to run as if they were one larger, stronger scheme.
Stoneport’s purpose is to dramatically reduce the costs, hassle and worry of pension schemes, all whilst materially enhancing the long-term security and experience for members.
Once Stoneport reaches scale to be able to operate as one larger, stronger scheme, from the end of 2022, the transformative impact on members’ benefit security is activated and costs radically reduce. From then on, the benefits of Stoneport’s members are collectively supported, reducing the risk of members not receiving all their benefits in full.
The reduction in costs and risks for employers joining Stoneport are achieved by the Stoneport Pension Scheme pooling the assets and liabilities of the schemes who join it.
Stoneport’s objective is to bring together 100-plus like-minded employers who are committed to taking effective and conclusive action to save costs and protect their members’ benefits by pooling the assets and liabilities of the schemes who join the Stoneport Pension Scheme – at the end of 2022. Stoneport will securely pay out the pension benefits of all its members over the next 25 years, before securing an insurance buy-out of the then remaining benefits in full, in 2046.
Employers who join the Stoneport Pension Scheme will become equal shareholders in its principal employer, Stoneport Pensions Alliance Limited (‘Stoneport Alliance’). The Stoneport Alliance will act as a membership body for all the employers who join, providing a vehicle through which to consult employers for their views and vote on various matters from time-to-time.
Stoneport is overseen by professional trustees, chaired by Stuart Southall.
The day-to-day running of Stoneport will be undertaken by Barnett Waddingham, a long-standing and well-respected name in pensions administration, actuarial and investment advice.
Stoneport Pensions Management Limited will provide management services to the Stoneport Alliance, as well as to the trustees of the Stoneport Pension Scheme, to ensure its efficient and effective operation.
The video below explains in more detail how employers and their schemes come together with the Stoneport Pension Scheme’s structure and the role of the various parties involved in its day-to-day operation: