Pension Fund Audits

Pension schemes vary greatly in their size and complexity, and there is often a public interest element to them. This, combined with the specific requirements and regulations, means that using a specialist is absolutely essential to ensure proper governance.

We are experienced in accounts content and auditing pension schemes of all sizes with our portfolio ranging from single member schemes to substantial defined benefit schemes containing thousands of members and significant net assets.

We recognise that each scheme has bespoke requirements, so we work alongside Trustees to gain a full understanding of the scheme in order to ensure they meet their statutory obligations and reporting requirements in accordance with the pension scheme regulations and accounting standards.

We can provide as much or as little assistance, working alongside your other advisers, administrators and investment managers, to help Trustees interpret the guidance provided by the relevant Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP).

We take a risk-based approach to our audits and have developed comprehensive pension audit programmes and disclosure checklists that our team apply to identify and focus on key risk areas to ensure we have reasonable assurance to support the audit opinion that your accounts are free from material misstatement, whether caused by fraud, error or omission.

We understand that pension schemes are unique and require specific training and expertise, and that’s why our team is determined by their experience of working with such audits. This, in turn, provides further natural efficiencies as accumulated know-how is applied.

Whilst we will always need information and explanations from the Trustees as part of the process, we endeavour to carry out our work with the minimum of disruption. Ease of access to relevant data is key to our planning and investigation, but we can provide you with a schedule of the information we need at the audit outset, providing you with plenty of time to collate the necessary paperwork.

We spend a great deal of our time during audit our undertaking reviewing the background, activities, objectives and administration of the scheme, including:

  • Governing documents and actuarial reports;
  • Contribution schedules
  • Scheme membership numbers and allocation into active, deferred and pensioners
  • Trustee meeting Minutes
  • Correspondence with The Pensions Regulator
  • Accounting systems, books and records and the adequacy of controls over key risks
  • Investment reconciliations and custodian arrangements
  • The valuation of investments and transaction movements
  • Peripheral factors that could be of material significance to The Pensions Regulator
  • The pensioner payroll and a review of a sample of member files
  • Benefit calculations, authorisation procedures and bulk transfer agreements

Having an in depth understanding of the mechanics of a pension scheme enables us to identify any weaknesses or specific risks in the financial procedures, as well as the impact of any instances of noncompliance. We can then recommend improvements in governance, and ensure you deliver audited financial statements within seven months of the scheme year end.