How has Dataplan changed since you joined?
The business and the pensions team has doubled in size since I joined in 2015. There are also new teams and departments, such as the Innovation Team who we work closely with to create better efficiencies in our processes.
What’s the best thing about working in payroll?
It really is a ‘team sport’. It can get stressful at times due to deadlines but our Penisons Team all support each other and will jump in to help each other when needed. In Pensions, we may not have the monthly payroll deadlines our payroll colleagues have, but we have big annual peaks of work such as the submissions for LGPS in April and Teachers’ Pensions in May.
And the worst?
For Local Government Pensions Scheme (LGPS) there are 60 different schemes and each has its own ‘idiosyncrasies’. Getting your head around all of these can be a challenge.
If you could have anyone on your payroll, whom would it be?
I think it would have to be Tinkerbell the fairy from Peter Pan, because she could just sprinkle some fairy dust and make everything OK!
What do you think pensions will be like in 50 years’ time?
The way technology is driving everything these days, I think payroll and pensions will be very slick and automated. Currently there is still a great deal of manual processes involved. We have some Local Government pension schemes that are only just moving to accepting electronic changes rather than paper!
What is your least favourite food?
Runny eggs. I am OK with eggs if the yolks are solid but, for some reason, any liquid egg yolk turns my stomach.
What do you think of HMRC?
I don’t deal with HMRC as part of my role, but my dealings with them as an individual have been very frustrating. Their website is especially poor and makes it so hard to find the relevant information. I am not sure it has been designed considering ordinary people need to use it.
Who or what makes you laugh?
My husband. We have so many private jokes and are giggling all the time.
Your most used phrase?
I don’t really have a most used phrase but one thing I do find myself saying time and time again is “No, that’s contractual enrolment”
What is your biggest work challenge?
Most people may not think pensions is a particularly fast-moving sector, but keeping up to date with all the changing requirements for schools, pension providers and legislation can be a challenge.
Pension companies are looking to move with the times and this results in lots of changes that we need to be able to support our clients with.
We work on building good relationships with the pension funds so we can give our clients the best possible service. We are often the ‘middle men’ between the client and the pension fund and have the role of keeping things running smoothly for all concerned.