Extract from student field notes
Position - Self Invested Personal Pension Drawdown Administrator
Week One –
Having previously worked at XYZ Ltd for temporary period over the summer and Easter
breaks I was able to settle into work fairly quickly and easily. I already knew most of my
colleagues, and was familiar with procedures and processes.
Previously I had worked on the Administration team, producing valuations, sending out
information to clients, dealing with queries from Independent Financial Advisors (IFAs) and
assisting other members of the team in responding to the clients' needs. This time I was placed
on the Drawdown team. I was really pleased about this as it is more technical and in depth
than a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP). SIPPs are where the client can choose where to
invest their pension monies, this may be in property or in Unit Trusts and Shares. It is the
responsibility of the department to make and manage these investments as trustees of the
pension plan. A SIPP Drawdown pension not only offers the above, but also allows the client
to gain a lump sum of Tax Free Cash, and an Income from their pension fund.
I had two days of training on Drawdown pensions. My role within the team is to deal with
New Business cases, this involves the following tasks:
Ensuring all paperwork sent from the branch is present and correct.
Entering the details onto the SIPP System (bespoke software listing all SIPP cases).
Paying in all transfer cheques.
Making any instructed investments.
Arranging the signing of any Investment Management Agreements (IMA’s) between an
external Investment Manager and ourselves. Transferring money over to them.
Paying Fees to us and to IFAs
Calculating Tax Free Cash (TFC) allowance.
Calculating Maximum and Minimum Income Payments.
Paying out Tax Free Cash by cheque or transfer.
Setting up Income Payments.
Sending out a Welcome Pack listing all investments and TFC & Income Payment
amounts to the client.
At this stage the case is passed from me to be filed on the wall where other members of the
team will continue to deal with the Income Payments, other investments, transfers and general
Training was given by a member of the team who was leaving at the end of the first week. I
was then given pieces of work relating to new cases or brand new SIPP’s to be set up. I was
able to ask questions as the rest of the team were approachable and helpful.
As I became more involved with certain cases I was able to take telephone calls and answer
queries from IFA’s and branches. With several new business cases coming in every week, the
amount of work on the go increased. It is important for me to be extremely organised and
know where each case is, and what we are waiting for. There is an excell spreadsheet called
the Drawdown Diary where “things to remember” can be entered. The relevant parts of this
log are printed off each day to remind the team to do things.
I organised my files on word and Excell as well as creating new folders on Microsoft
exchange in order to be able to trace my e-mails.
Generally this week was spent getting to grips with the early stages of a case such as banking
cheques from other Life Offices. Once a week I have to go cheque signing where I obtain
signatures for members of the team who have drawn up cheques. This involves going to the
ABC Ltd Directors with the case, and asking them to authorise payment.
It is essential to enter all details onto the computer system and place copies of all
correspondence and information on the file. In my second week I was entering transfers onto
the system as well as allocating each case with a designation (SIPP number) and entering
personal and membership details onto the system.
This week we had a new team member. She came to SIPP drawdown from Insured
Drawdown (where the assets are not self invested, but held in XYZ Ltd Funds). She is an
experienced member of staff and has worked for XYZ Ltd for five years. Her role on our
team is to shadow our client services manager and act as our team leader.
This addition will free up time for our CSM (Client Services Manager) to deal with
complaints, and mean that our team leader will now be our first point of contact. She is in
charge of work allocation, checking, rotas and the general well-being of the team. I think this
is a good idea, as it is good to have someone with more authority and experience working so
closely with the team.
I was back to work after a week off. I was relieved to find that my desk was fairly tidy and I
had not been overloaded with work in my absence. I had also been awarded a “Bronze
Award” for customer service. These awards are distributed each month to people who have
excelled! I got £25.00 worth of vouchers for a local resturant.
A member of the Sales Staff at the local Branch called ZR nominated me for this award. This
was the case where TFC was paid out between Christmas and New Year. The IFA was
pleased with the service provided and intends to use us for further SIPP business. Zoe sent an
e-mail to HT explaining what had happened and I got an award.
The appointment of a new manager for the SIPP department has been announced. JJ, who
currently is the manager of Personal Pensions will take over the SIPP department at the end of
January. Obviously she has previous pensions experience and has worked for XYZ Ltd for
We had a team meeting on the Tuesday and I had my individual 3-month appraisal on the