Pensions Case

The work of a consultant in the pensions industry

Date:July 12, 2024

Our consultant’s workday in and day out on complex assignments and issues with our clients. From Wtp (Future Pensions Act) to implementing new back-office systems. In the pension industry, demand is high due to all the adjustments made as a result of the Future Pension Act. For instance, consultant Roel Jacobs has been with a self-administering pension fund for a long time. As project leader, he is working on the implementation of a new pension administration back-office system. A complex project in view of the Wtp.

Wtp touches everything

“The project I am working on is not directly a Wtp assignment, but at the moment there is no escaping interfaces with Wtp. This is because the new scheme requires a new system to administer everything correctly and to create a better link between asset management and pension administration. To anticipate this requirement, many pension administrators are already starting to implement a new system. This also applies to my client.”

“While I am working on creating a new member and employer portal, administration and benefits system, and financial accounting in coordination with an external software supplier, close coordination with the Wtp team is also required. Both processes have dependencies on each other. In addition, it helps that I know the content of Wtp and pension administration well. That makes switching easier for both parties.”

Alignment and Communication

“An important aspect of the role is balancing internal and external communication. On the one hand, I regularly sit around the table with the software supplier for fine-tuning moments, and on the other, I link up a lot with the business consultants to solve operational issues. It helps that I know the pension world and therefore speak the language on the floor. At the same time, it also helps that I can make the requirements clear to the software supplier.”

Timelines and Challenges

“One of the biggest challenges is meeting strict timelines. The board, in consultation with social partners, has chosen to have the new scheme take effect on 1 January 2026, with an earlier implementation of the current scheme into the new system on 1 January 2025. This means there is a lot of work to do in a short period of time. The dependence on external suppliers makes this extra challenging, especially if delays occur. In turn, I have to pass this on to internal colleagues and then ensure that, despite any delays, they remain motivated and confident. It is up to me and the team to manage these challenges and ensure that all parts of the project are delivered on time and to specifications.”

“The next challenge ahead is the change in working. A new system brings new ways of working. That always generates a certain amount of resistance. Something we already noticed when designing the new software. In doing so, some got bogged down in describing the current software instead of indicating how it could be different or better. It is then up to me as an external consultant to take a fresh look and challenge others to do the same.”

A dynamic field of work

“The role of consultant in the pension industry can be described as multifaceted, challenging and dynamic. It requires not only technical knowledge and project management skills, but also strong communication skills and in-depth knowledge of pension schemes and the Wtp. Despite the complexity and pressure, it remains an exciting and rewarding role, with a significant impact on the future of pension provision.”