Maurice Gates

Pensions Administrator, Mercer

Degree subject History and Politics; Marketing
Job title Pensions Administrator

Employer Mercer

I administer a portfolio of approximately 12 pension schemes ranging from very large multinationals to smaller Irish owned firms. I look after all of the day-to-day administration including the annual renewal, the issue of leaving service option statements, setting up pensions for members at retirement age and processing all the financial elements associated with these schemes. This includes investing pension contributions and paying insurance premiums in respect of life assurance and disability plans. I also liaise with the scheme actuaries in order for them to produce actuarial valuations every one to three years for each scheme. Additionally I work with internal and external fund accountants to enable them to produce the trustee annual report and audited accounts.

My degree has helped me to prepare for work by encouraging me to think for myself and to deal with the pressures associated with the job. Internally, Mercer has provided two intensive training courses – the first when I joined the company and the second after 18 months. Mercer has also allowed me to take paid study leave, which has enabled me to pass all my pensions exams to date. These are awarded by the Pensions Management Institute (PMI). After passing four exams I will receive a diploma; after passing nine I'll become an associate of the PMI.

To succeed in a career in pensions you need to work very hard and be very motivated. Pursuing professional exams such as the PMI is advisable as it gives you a transferable qualification within the industry, and greater recognition.