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Insurance snapshot

The key to making modern life move forward, the UK’s insurance sector is the largest in Europe.

Insurance is one of the ways that businesses and individuals reduce the financial impact of a risk occurring.

Without insurance there would be no risk taking. And without any risk taking, no businesses and no innovation. Insurance is what enables the modern world to get on with life.

And it’s everywhere. It’s also big business. In fact, it’s one of the biggest. In terms of careers, the industry offers a truly remarkable range and diversity of opportunities. You can enter specialist career streams or join the industry through a host of highly rated general management schemes with some of the most prestigious names in finance.

There are differing types of insurance business, including life and pensions companies, insurers, brokers and claims management.

Within companies classified as ‘insurers’, there are the following subdivisions: Personal and Commercial, Reinsurance, The London Market, Lloyd’s of London.

Whether you want to work for a major international firm or a regional specialist, there are opportunities for you to build a rewarding, challenging, long-term career, achieve valuable professional qualifications and play an influential role in one of the UK’s most significant industries.

Pensions snapshot

Working in any sector of the pension’s marketplace offers a solid career in an industry continuing to receive high media attention. At entry level, comprehensive training provides a structured path for career development and ongoing professional qualifications. Many pension firms also provide full support in relation to training costs, mentoring and time off for study.

Routes into the pensions profession

Pensions administration
Pension Administrators must be good communicators and be able to work in a team environment. They must demonstrate mathematical talent to calculate contributions levels, member benefits, lump sum payments, annual renewal reconciliations and Inland Revenue limits. This will be complimented by a good appreciation and application English for drafting a variety of letters to members and report writing.

Actuarial students should be analytically and mathematically strong, and enjoy solving complex conundrums regarding costs, future funding requirements, asset allocation, investment performance, and forecasting. There will also be involvement in mergers and acquisitions and the role may be client-facing and project orientated.

Legal advice
Entering the industry in a technical capacity might suit the legal intern with the profession having seen many years of legislative changes. Significant legal judgements have resulted in individuals winning cases against huge companies; three in particular during the early 1990s of Barber, Coloroll and Smith v Advel. Legal advice and guidance is needed to interpret Trust Deed & Rules, and in the drafting or amendment of trust documents. Advice is often required when companies go into administration and pensions need to be protected.

Information technology
Specialist IT companies design software to calculate benefits, coordinate revenue documents and issue member letters. With technology advancements, there has been an increased need for IT and design staff to enhance communications for ‘Member Education’. This ensures employees fully understand the benefit packages their employer provides. These benefits are not restricted to pensions alone; additional employee benefits communicated effectively to staff have proved an effective tool in reducing staff turnover.

Accountancy within the industry can diversify an individual’s skill into audit work, managing payrolls and taxation. Accountancy teams manage current cash flow forecasting and control payments to and from the schemes, including monthly contributions and investments.

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