Rare opportunity to join Shell’s in-house pension department as Head of Pension Operations, reporting directly to the Head of UK Pensions. Shell’s pension administration is carried out in-house for four UK-linked defined benefit pension schemes covering around 45,000 members, £23 billion of assets making benefit payments approaching £900 million a year. The role combines technical knowledge with management and leadership, together with hands on experience in all aspects of pensions administration and payroll.
With a team in London and accountability for a team in our offshore centre in Poland, the Head of Pension Operations is responsible for the management and strategy of day-to-day operational pension administration activities of the UK and UK linked pension schemes. The administration team comprises 10 people in London and around 20 people in Poland.
Where you fit in?
The role is part of the leadership team of Shell’s UK Trustee Services Unit which provides executive pensions support to the trustees of Shell’s pension schemes in the UK and manages the pensions administration and related activities, including finance and payroll. The Trustee Services Unit operates as a division of Shell International Limited and is part of Group Treasury.
As a member of the Trustee Services Unit Leadership Team, the successful candidate will work across the team supporting other initiatives and leading development of the wider team.
What’s the role?
The successful candidate will be accountable for the following:
- Responsibility for delivering administration services and pension payroll for four UK-linked pension schemes covering around 45,000 members. The Head of Pension Operations oversees the administration team in London (two direct reports and with a total reporting line of nine), ensuring delivery of operational excellence on day-to day activities. In addition, the Head of Pension Operations has accountability of the administration team in Shell’s offshored team in Poland (team of 20), with day-to-day management of the team carried out locally in Krakow.
- Focusing on operational excellence, high levels of accuracy and delivering a good member experience, the pension administration team process large volumes of transactions and queries which involve sensitive and personal data. The successful candidate will continuously develop the pension administration strategy, administration system (EQ Compendia and other supporting systems) and the associated processes. This is whilst maintaining service level agreements and high member satisfaction.
- Successfully implementing large high-profile projects, such as the upgrade of the pension IT system (EQ Compendia) and processes to enable member self-service through a web-based portal and analysing and delivering scheme changes resulting from legislative changes (such as GMP Equalisation and roll out of Pensions Dashboard), whilst maintaining a focus on member-centric engagement and development.
- Providing support and guidance to the team in London and Krakow to ensure accurate and timely delivery of all operational processes including monthly payroll and related actions, pension lifestyle events (retirement, death, transfer, divorce etc) and complex member enquiries.
- Implementing a positive member experience across all interaction points. You will also be the high-level escalation point for member queries and complaints that arise.
- Interaction with the Trustee Boards of the Funds, preparing and presenting relevant Committee and Trustee Board papers on administration and related operational activity. This includes overseeing the MI reporting for the Funds both within the Trustee Services Unit and to the Trustee Boards. The Head of Pension Operations has an important role reporting out to the Risk and Operations Committee for the largest UK pension fund.
- Act a subject matter expert on pension administration to other pension plans around the Shell Group on an ad-hoc basis.
What we need from you?
Given the nature of the role, you should have extensive previous pension operations experience in either an in-house or third-party administrator environment.
The successful applicant is expected to have the following:
- Pension qualifications (e.g. PMI, DPA)
- Excellent knowledge of UK defined benefit pension schemes
- Deep knowledge of UK pension legislation
- Experience of working with pension administration systems (e.g. Compendia)
- Knowledge and experience of external market practices and products in pensions
- Experience of managing a team
- Self-starter and effective team player
- Ability to influence, develop and lead
- Able to focus on the detail without losing sight of the broader issue or strategy
- Ability to contribute to the development of the broader Trustee Services Unit.
In addition to the salary and benefits offered by Shell, travel is expected to Krakow on some occasions (typically two to four times a year).
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