ICAS Pensions Panel
The ICAS Pensions Panel is responsible for representing ICAS on matters impacting on pension provision and the pensions industry, in relation to:
- Public policy;
- Law and regulation;
- Financial reporting; and
The Panel's key policy positions are as follows:
- The UK Government should consider setting up an independent pensions/retirement savings commission as a standing advisory body which seeks to achieve long-term stability for the UK pensions system and cross-party consensus.
- In the context of the debate on the further devolution of powers to the Scottish Parliament, support for a unified UK savings market, including pension saving - and for financial services and pensions law and regulation remaining a UK matter, as should pension protection arrangements.
- Support in principle UK government plans to introduce a legal and regulatory framework for defined ambition pensions, specifically collective defined contribution pensions which enable genuine risk sharing between employers and employees and between scheme members.
- Individuals, employers, trustees and governance committee members should have access to information which is properly designed to enable them to assess whether defined contribution pension products are delivering outcomes in line with their expectations.
- Support for freedom and choice in pension decumulation with the proviso that insurers will need to be confident that any new products they bring to the market will be able to operate without change over the long-term.
- Master trusts must develop and maintain governance arrangements which are fit for purpose and keep up with the demands of the implementation timetable for auto-enrolment.
Matt Cooper (Chair)
Matt was appointed Chair of the ICAS Pensions Panel in December 2018. He is a director at PwC and leads PwC's employer covenant advisory team in Scotland. He is a CA (2005 qualified) and has been advising corporates and trustees with defined benefit pension schemes since 2007. His client base has included over 50 pension schemes with assets ranging from £4m to £20bn. Areas of advice he provides include ongoing scheme funding and contribution affordability, covenant monitoring, contingency planning, moral hazard risk, pension-driven restructuring and the assessment of potential detriment as a result of corporate transactions.
He has developed areas of specialism including Banking and Utility companies, having worked closely with clients in these sectors. In particular how the funding of pension schemes interacts with the other regulated industries as defined by FCA/PRA and Ofgem respectively. He is also part of PwC's team focusing on the adoption of integrated risk management, in particular how this can be demonstrated for small and medium-sized schemes.
Before specialising in pensions, Matt had broad experience including corporate audit, due diligence, and a 9-month secondment the strategic business services team at Clydesdale Bank.
Andrew played a key role in establishing Scottish Widows' Bulk Annuities business and is now Head of Origination and Structuring with responsibility for delivering de-risking solutions to the trustees and sponsors of defined benefit pension schemes.
Andrew joined Lloyds Banking Group's Insurance business in 2009 as Head of Capital Projects focussing on strategic initiatives to enhance the efficiency of the balance sheet. Previously, he led HBOS plc's Group Mergers and Acquisitions team and held corporate finance roles at Deloitte and Andersen, where he qualified as a CA in 1997.
Andy is an experienced former actuary, independent trustee and investment consultant, who advised and worked with Trustees, Employers, Regulatory bodies and other advisers for over 30 years on all aspects of DB and DC schemes.
He has also represented scheme members in litigation cases and was involved in founding the Pension Protection Fund and Financial Assistance Scheme. Now solely a professional independent trustee, Andy seeks to utilise the wealth of experience and knowledge he has built up in the above roles to chair, assist and add value to trustee boards.
Anne is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries and is an Associate Director with Muse Advisory. Prior to joining Muse, she was a Worldwide Partner at Mercer where her last responsibility was leading the Scottish investment consulting team. Other senior roles held at Mercer include leading the retirement consulting business in Ireland.
Throughout her career, Anne has gained extensive experience of consulting with a wide range of trustee and corporate clients, helping them meet the challenges they face in managing their investment, funding and governance responsibilities. She is an independent trustee director (in a personal capacity) of the Scottish & Newcastle Pension Plan and chairs its Investment Committee. In addition, Anne is an independent trustee of the Mercer Mastertrust.
Careen is an Associate Partner at EY, and has led the Scottish Pensions Assurance Practice since 2008. She has been with EY for 30 years with most of her audit experience in financial services.
She has more than 25 years of experience auditing pension schemes and helping trustees with wider assurance such as direction on risk registers and controls considerations. She is responsible for approximately 100 pension scheme audit clients of all type and size including several top 100 schemes.
Careen is also a member of EY’s Pensions Leadership Team and Pensions Technical Group, actively contributing to strategy and to the firm’s technical and training agenda.
David is a Director and Owner of Spence & Partners, an actuarial and administration specialist, Dalriada Trustees, a leading firm of professional trustees and Veratta, a software and data specialist.
David specialises in advising charities and corporate bodies on pension strategy, funding negotiations and on managing pension change projects.
David is a regular contributor of articles and commentary in the press and is an acknowledged expert on multi-employer pension schemes. As well as being a member of the ICAS Pensions Committee, David is also a special adviser to the Charity Finance Group and on a Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association Working Party. David has also worked with the DWP and Scottish Government in relation to the impact of multi-employer pension schemes on third sector organisations.
David is a Head of Audit for Johnston Carmichael, responsible for leading the strategic direction of the Firm’s audit practice. In addition, David specialises in providing audit services to large privately owned companies and to pension schemes. As Head of the firm’s pensions team, David has extensive experience in dealing with complex defined benefit type arrangements and the significant audit issues that result. David is known for providing a personal and pro-active service to his clients and for providing clear, practical advice in a non-technical manner.
David joined Scottish Borders Council as Chief Financial Officer in September 2011 with responsibility for the proper financial management of the Council and its pension fund. Prior to joining Scottish Borders, he worked in a variety of finance-related roles for the City of Edinburgh Council.
David graduated from Glasgow University in 1992 and joined Lothian Regional Council that year as a trainee accountant. He qualified as a Chartered Public Finance Accountant in 1995.
David is the current chair of the CIPFA Scottish Branch. He has previously held positions as Scottish Treasurer (2006- 2011) and Vice Chair (2014-15).
He lives in Edinburgh with his wife and two teenage children who deny all responsibility for his grey hair. Extensive parent taxi duties mean he has no spare time.
John is self-employed, trading as JRM Training and Professional Services. Until October 2015, John worked with Grant Thornton in Scotland for 37 years. During his period with Grant Thornton, John specialised in auditing and financial reporting, in relation to large unquoted private companies, pension schemes, solicitors and similar professional service organisations
Throughout his professional career, John has had a very close involvement with ICAS. He has been a member of the ICAS Business Policy Committee and served on AAT Council as an ICAS nominated member for 5 years. John also delivers training courses for BPP, as part of its partnership with ICAS. John is the immediate past Chair of the Pensions Panel.
Lorraine is an Assurance Director with PwC and has been with the firm for 22 years. She leads the PwC Scottish Assurance Pensions practice, which audits over 50 pension funds and is a member of the PwC UK pension leadership team.
Lorraine hosts PwCs seminars for pension trustees and their Chair of trustee forums in Scotland and spends a significant amount of time providing audit, accounting and advisory services to a wide variety of pension scheme clients.
Louisa is a longstanding partner within the Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP Pensions law team and has an extensive range of experience advising on pensions law issues for trustees and companies. She has significant experience in advising through the lifetime of occupational pension schemes in matters including risk reduction measures, including scheme restructuring, as well as the impact of commercial activity on schemes and negotiations with The Pensions Regulator and the Pension Protection Fund. Louisa has in-depth knowledge of EU and UK constitutional reform matters affecting schemes.
In addition, she advises regularly on the detail of European law as it affects pension provision – equalisation and equality law being particular specialisms.
Philip is a Partner at RSM and has over 25 years’ experience of delivering audit services to some of the largest UK pension schemes, Philip also has extensive experience of leading the audits of a variety of investment organisations ranging from some of the largest global asset servicing entities to smaller alternative and hedge fund managers. In addition to audit, Philip also performs risk and governance reviews for his clients.
Philip has led the audit work for a range of internal control reporting assignments (AAF01/06 and SAS70 reports) including some of the earliest applications of these frameworks to pension administrators. He leads the provision of the RSM accreditation services to PASA (the Pension Administration Standards Association). In addition to client responsibilities as Audit Principal Philip heads the National Pensions technical team within the National Pensions Group.
Philip is a member of the PRAG SORP Working Party, previously chaired the PRAG Internal Audit Working Party and is a member of the ICAEW Master Trust Assurance Framework Working Party. He is a regular speaker at other industry forums.