Employer Covenant Working Group names Hinds new chair

Keith Hinds, Grant ThorntonGrant Thornton pensions partner Keith Hinds has been named chair of the Employer Covenant Working Group.

The Employer Covenant Working Group (ECWG) is a group of industry experts formed to work in collaboration with trustees, scheme sponsors and regulators to address the issues facing defined benefit pension schemes in respect of covenant advisory work.

Hinds is a partner in Grant Thornton’s Pensions Advisory team. He has specialised in providing covenant, affordability advice and negotiation assistance to employers and the trustees of pension schemes since 2005 and has over 25 years’ experience in recovery and reorganisation work.

Hinds says: “These are extremely challenging times for all those involved with defined benefit schemes.

“The Pensions Regulator’s 2014 Code of Practice stressed the importance of employer covenant assessment as part of an integrated approach to managing defined benefit scheme risk and agreeing appropriate valuations and recovery plans. Our members are actively working on guidance in a number of areas to help guide practitioners, sponsors and trustees in undertaking employer covenant-related work and I look forward to progressing these during my term as chair. I would particularly like to thank Gary Squires at AlixPartners, my predecessor as Chairman, who has steered the Group so well over the last three years and set our programme of work underway.”