Main Purpose and Context of the Role
The Baptist Pension Scheme is one of the largest multiple employer pension schemes in the UK. It has over 1350 participating employers, the majority of whom are Baptist Churches.
Until the end of 2011, the Scheme was on a Defined Benefit basis. Since 1 January 2012, it has been on a Defined Contribution basis.
The Defined Benefit plan is in deficit and subject to a recovery plan. Employers leaving the Scheme are required to pay their proportion of the shortfall and this is often a relatively large amount, causing financial strain. Many of the participating employers employ only one person, thus creating challenges around employer debts.
The Defined Contribution plan is now the main vehicle used in Baptist churches for ongoing staff and minister pension provision. As a non-associated multi-employer arrangement, it is regulated as a Master Trust, requiring high levels of governance and operational efficiency. The Pension Trustee and the Pensions Manager are committed to achieving the highest possible governance and industry standards while maintaining efficient budgetary control. This includes developing member and employer engagement programmes with high quality outcomes.
The job holder will:
- offer support to and deputise for the Pensions Manager
- provide technical guidance and education for churches and other employers on all pension issues. This will involve occasional travel to churches, including meetings in the evening and very occasionally at weekends. However, most support is provided by email and telephone.
- Deal with a wide range of employer and member issues and queries about the Baptist Pension Scheme Defined Contribution plan and ongoing deficit recovery and possible debt payments towards the closed Defined Benefit plan.
- Support the Pensions Manager in proactively identifying and managing key issues and in continually developing the Defined Contribution plan in response to legal and legislative change & changing member and employer needs
- Support, and occasionally visit, churches and other employers on debt settlement arrangements in the Defined Benefit plan and to provide education on the Defined Contribution plan arrangements.
- Maintain records in relation to correspondence with churches and other employers and decisions reached. Work closely with the Scheme’s professional advisers, particularly the administrators to ensure all information kept up to date and issues dealt with in a timely and effective way
- Offer key support to the Trustee Board and liaise with the Employers Group as needed.
- Attend Baptist conferences and meetings as required (eg annual association meetings).
- Attend pre-retirement courses to offer assistance to members of the pension scheme.
- Prepare and give presentations using appropriate media.
Changes to this role profile:
This role profile is designed to be illustrative rather than exhaustive. The Baptist Union may add to the responsibilities of the Pensions Support Officer any tasks or activities that they see as relevant and appropriate to the role and will discuss any such additions with the post-holder.
Skills, Knowledge, Abilities & Experience:
- Experience & knowledge of DB & DC Schemes
- Ability to communicate complex technical issues via a range of media, adapting style to suit different audiences.
- Ability to communicate with professional advisers including the scheme administrators
- Ability to deal with customers and relationships at all levels
- Good IT skills encompassing Microsoft Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint Desirable
- Experience of serving a Trustee Board
- Knowledge of pensions legislation including tPR Codes of Conduct and Guidance Notes
- Excellent administration and organisation skills including the ability work independently managing different workstreams simultaneously and meeting deadlines
- Willingness to work collaboratively with other members of staff
- Results orientated, able to set clear strategic objectives and develop tactical plans to meet them
- Experience of managing and developing website content
- Good understanding of Baptist Churches and associated organisations
- Experience of leadership
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
- Diplomacy, tact, confidentiality and tenacity
- A high degree of flexibility
- Pleasant and pastoral telephone manner
- Energy and enthusiasm
- Calmness under pressure
- Keen to learn and develop
Salary and practical arrangements
This role is offered on a full-time basis, but consideration will be given to a four-day week with proportional salary. We expect the role to be home based, although you will be expected to travel to churches and occasionally for management meetings.
The starting salary for the role is based on a full-time equivalent range of £32,000 per annum. We also offer a range of staff benefits including:
- a contributory pension scheme, which includes life assurance cover
- child care voucher scheme
- a Cycle to Work scheme through salary exchange
- a voluntary benefits package (Perkbox) that gives discounts for a wide range of everyday expenditure (eg supermarkets, high street retailers, restaurants, cinema tickets).
- free parking at our offices at Baptist House, Didcot
Please apply by sending your CV and a covering letter.