Ensuring big returns for small pension schemes

Finding sound advice on effective investments for small pension schemes can be a challenge. That is why Barker Tatham focuses specifically on helping trustees and companies sponsoring small UK pension schemes for their employees.  (For an explanation of what we mean by "small", see our FAQ.)

  • If you want to reduce your risk, we can help you.
  • If you want to increase your expected returns, we can help you.
  • If you want to do both at the same time, we can help you do this too. 

How do we do this? By identifying and removing those risks that your scheme is not paid to take, and keeping or increasing those risks that lead to high rewards.

We have a passion for working with small schemes and have developed our approach specifically to suit their needs.

We focus on the most important issues

Often trustees of small pension schemes are limited by budget and available time when seeking investment advice.  We help you focus your resources on areas where they can make the most difference, especially asset allocation.  According to research quoted in the Myners Report, asset allocation is the most important factor, accounting for 93.6% of the difference between pension schemes returns. Complex work that is worthwhile for a £1bn scheme is rarely justifiable for a £10m scheme:  advice that costs more than the value of any resulting benefit just wastes money.

We focus on what’s special about your scheme

A lot of investment advice, while useful, is generic.  For example, the issues we raise when advising on gilts versus corporate bonds or active versus passive management will be the same for all of our clients.  So we’ve decided to give this to you for free.  We will direct you to the specific resources on this website barkertatham.com or you are welcome to access these yourself whenever you choose.  This means that we can concentrate on helping you with the aspects that are specific to your scheme, so that you get an investment strategy that best meets your needs.

We provide clear advice

Many aspects of investment are finely balanced, but it would not help you if we ‘sat on the fence’. So we clearly state our recommendations.  We’ll also point out the available alternatives and the reasons for our conclusions.

What is more, we aim to explain everything in plain English. This does not always come naturally to actuaries, so we use professional editors to help us.

Fixed costs give you more control

Trustees of most schemes below £50m tend to be very conscious of fee levels (rightly so, given that it is not their money being spent). A consultative approach with meetings every quarter to develop strategy can be effective.  But it is costly.  And time consuming.  So it’s not often appropriate for small schemes. 

We offer you an alternative: sound, cost-effective investment advice via a series of tools and packages, mostly with fixed, predictable costs.   You only see us when you need us.  You only pay for what you need. So you save time and money. 

Industry Awards

Professional Pensions Awards: "Investment Consultant of the Year"

  • Finalists 2014, 2015, 2017

  • Highly commended 2015

Financial Times Pensions and Investment Provider Awards:

"Investment Consultant of the Year"

  • Finalists 2014, 2015
  • Special mention for "Client referrals and common sense" 2017

Pensions Age Awards: "Pension Consultant of the Year"

  • Finalists 2016, 2018