Head of Pensions

Job reference: 128010BR Previous
Location: Nottingham Support Office
Function area: Finance
Shift pattern: Full-time
Contract type: Permanent
Hours per week: Over 35 hours per week

The Head of Pensions (HoP) leads an in-house Pension Team that has governance and operational responsibilities in relation to Boots’ legacy pension schemes. The Team is also involved in overseeing the UK retirement savings and life assurance provisions (including auto enrolment obligations) offered to WBA employees in the UK.

The HoP will be required to manage a complex matrix structure of stakeholders, demonstrating an ability to build strong relationships with senior personnel with challenging requirements.

As an indication, broadly 80% of the HoP’s work relates to the Boots legacy Defined Benefit (DB) schemes where current liabilities are c£7bn with c56k members (broadly split 50:50 pensioner and deferred members). The Alliance Healthcare and Boots Retirement Savings Plan (AHBRSP) is a contract-based Defined Contribution (DC) scheme with Legal & General with c50k employees and where total savings are currently just under £800m.

Key Responsibilities

  • The three core elements to the role are as follows:
  • The primary element of the role is the provision of strategic support and direction to the Chair and Board of the legacy DB schemes and, in doing so, assist with and support its relationship with the Company as appropriate.
  • Managing an in-house Pension Team which undertakes the full administration, pension fund accounting and membership support services on behalf of the Trustees of the DB schemes.
  • Working with the Group Pensions Director, supporting the oversight of all retirement savings and related provisions including the AHBRSP, workplace pensions and auto enrolment provisions, and the Alliance Healthcare and Boots Life Assurance Scheme (LAS). Operational support is provided within the Pension Team.
    • Proactively advise the Boards of Trustees on the strategic agenda for the DB schemes and in doing so, manage the Trustees’ Mission Statement, objectives and implementation plans.
    • Managing and agreeing budgets and delivery schedules for advice.
    • Oversight of the development and maintenance of effective governance and internal controls in relation to the DB schemes.
    • Research, develop and implement innovative solutions and processes to drive efficient service delivery and excellent member experience.
    • Advise, assist and work in partnership with HR colleagues at business, operational and site level as appropriate.
    • Develop relationships internally and externally and collaborate on end-to-end processes across business functions, managing the relationship with third party pension and related benefit providers for all schemes.
    • Lead the in-house Pensions Team, supporting their development as an effective team.

    A bit about you…

    • Demonstrable senior management experience in pensions – to include defined benefit and defined contribution structures
    • Previous operational and client management experience of complex benefit structures
    • Project management and skilled at working across functional teams
    • Strong governance awareness, with ability to take lead on compliance matters
    • Customer centric focus
    • Strong interpersonal skills at Trustee and Company level and ability to demonstrate high level credibility with key stakeholders
    • Competent with IT system knowledge
    • Ability to manage and motivate a team and to drive innovative behaviour for process re-engineering
    • Highly self-motivated, ability to work under pressure and operate comfortably in a changing environment
    • A relevant professional qualification (FPMI/APMI/ACII or equivalent) is desirable

    Trustee Secretariat specific experience:

    • Ability to assess and confidently provide direction on matters of strategy and policy for the Trustees whilst remaining appropriately sensitive of needs and views of other relevant parties
    • Strong technical expertise (including understanding of relevant legislation, orders, procedures etc) and actuarial acumen
    • Good understanding of investment strategies and requirements, ability to critically assess such options and alternative approaches and provide robust oversight of consultants, managers etc

    A bit about us…

    The Finance team is fundamental to our success, playing an active role across the entire business ensuring targets are met and strategies are understood.

    As trusted advisors, we’re involved in a wide range of activities; reviewing weekly and monthly sales-margin-cost performance and assessing the performance of key promotions to partnering the business teams to develop and track the performance of new store openings, new customer propositions like a new online trading platform, to some large scale IT investments.

    It’s a supportive, collaborative and committed team. We’re big on communication and we hold quarterly conferences to celebrate our successes. We have a strong development culture, showcased at our annual yoUniversity week, which encourages our colleagues to focus on their potential and wellbeing. If you’re keen to build your career - there’s no better place as you’ll be supported to take on new challenges and develop your skill set with access to opportunities across the Boots UK, Global Brands and Boots Opticians Finance teams.

    Boots UK is part of the Retail Pharmacy International Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance and is the UKs leading pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer. With over 2500 stores in the UK our purpose is to help our customers look and feel better than they ever thought possible. You can learn more by visiting boots.jobs.

    What we can offer you:

    • Competitive Salary
    • 25 days annual leave, plus statutory bank holidays & option to buy an additional 5 days annual leave
    • Annual discretionary bonus plan
    • Market leading staff discount scheme including Boots Opticians - frames and contact lenses
    • Competitive company pension scheme and life cover
    • Flexible benefits scheme available ranging from private medical insurance, cycle to work scheme and many more
    • Onsite Staff Shop, Opticians, Gym, Starbucks/Costa, Canteen and Dry Cleaning
    • Boots Benevolent Fund - a registered charity that can offer support to eligible current and former colleagues in the UK, as well as their immediate relatives and dependants, at times of financial hardship

    Diversity and inclusion is at the centre of everything we do. We are an equal opportunity employer committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce. We offer a number of flexible working options to suit our colleagues’ needs including job share and part time working. Our website shows examples of colleagues enjoying different working patterns. If this interests you, please talk to us about it.

    To become part of our story and make a difference – click apply and our recruitment partners will be in touch!

    If you have any questions or queries regarding this vacancy please contact Sanjeet.Kamal@boots.co.uk.

    Please click the link below or copy and paste it into your browser for a peek into our fantastic Support Office: