There are a number of key roles within the pensions industry, and employers are looking for key skills when considering applicants for a job. At Alexander Lloyd, we are here to advise our candidates, and questions that we are often faced with include:
What are employers looking for?
Do I need a qualification?
What skills do I require?
For nearly all pension roles, there are key skills required: administrative understanding, communications skills, problem solving techniques and an eye for detail.
You can generally get into the pensions industry from any academic background; however a number of employers do look for candidates with a degree in maths, economics, finance or business. Professional qualifications are very important in the pensions industry, and most employers will be willing to support you through training and obtaining your qualifications.
Those looking to enter the industry need to have a good academic background, with a minimum of GCSE’s and an aptitude for maths. However, enthusiasm and willingness to learn can not be underestimated at this stage.
Pensions Administrators should be able to demonstrate a background in financial services and experience within the role; undertaking manual calculations and other aspects required to effectively administer a scheme. Many employers ask for at least four GCSEs (A-C) including english and maths. Some Pensions Administrators will need to take a professional qualification, depending on their responsibilities. To be successful as a Pensions Administrator, one must have good verbal and written communication skills, be able to analyse data, have attention to detail and be able to work as part of a team.
Senior Pensions Administrator
If a Pensions Administrator wants to progress their career within the industry, taking the step up to Senior Pensions Administrator after two to three years of experience is the natural progression. To be considered, you should be looking to have strong experience of both DB and DC schemes if possible and also be able to demonstrate when you have taken on added responsibility to bridge the gap.
After three to four years of Senior Pensions Administrator experience, you may want to consider the next step to team leader. It is essential that you can show where you have taken responsibility for others; training and mentoring junior members of the team, checking work and taking on ad hoc projects. You may also be required to be progressing towards the PMI qualification. You need to be able to work well in a team as well as being able to delegate where necessary.
The main route to becoming a Pensions Consultant tends to be via a graduate training scheme, or you can work up to pensions consultancy as a Senior Pensions Administrator. Progression towards industry- related exams will be required (Pensions Management Institute or qualifications through the CII).You may also be required to have had extensive legislative and product knowledge within the UK pensions industry - understanding the ins and outs of DC Pension schemes
To be successful in this role, you will also need good verbal and written communication skills, analytical and research skills, and good general maths skills.
To find out more on pensions qualifications, click here
The career path in pensions is a rewarding one that offers clear progression for those who are willing to demonstrate commitment and reliability. To view any of the roles that team are handling please click here.