Following buyout, the Metal Box Pension Scheme needed to be confident that the winding up would be done in an effective and efficient way, ideally using someone with knowledge of the Scheme.


After an extensive risk reduction journey over a number of years, the Metal Box Pension Scheme, which had assets of £2.2bn, completed a full buyout with Pension Insurance Corporation in late 2021, securing the benefits for 12,000 pensioner and deferred members. The Scheme then commenced winding up. This was good news for members but created a governance problem that needed to be solved.


Understandably, the incumbent Pensions Manager/Scheme Secretary (Cathy Aston) was now looking to continue her pensions career with a new employer. However, the trustees and sponsoring company needed someone to provide support and complete the remaining run-off and winding up activities on a part-time basis. A “supplier selection” process commenced to find out what options were available.   

We are actively recruiting people with Cathy’s skill set and, having heard all about BW’s vision and culture, Cathy decided to continue her pensions career with our Pension Executive and Management Services (PEMS) team. The PEMS team provides a range of services, including full outsourced trustee executive services, pension manager, scheme secretarial, project management and bespoke, non-actuarial consultancy services to a wide range of clients. These were the opportunities that appealed to Cathy.

This gave the trustees the option to continue to utilise Cathy’s knowledge by appointing Barnett Waddingham to provide the Interim Pensions Manager and Scheme Secretary services to the Metal Box Pension Scheme that they were seeking. After the necessary due diligence, BW was appointed.

Our service included the provision of the below.

  • Monthly meeting calls – arrangement, attendance, meeting minutes and management of actions
  • Maintenance of trustee knowledge and understanding (TKU) and internal controls
  • Supplier and expense management
  • Oversight of the Scheme accounts and audit
  • Facilitate the repayment of the company’s buyout loan from redemption of assets that were illiquid at the time the buyout was paid
  • Project management in respect of historic Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) equalisation payments arising from the Lloyds 3 judgement
  • Formal windup activities
  • Additional services as required
"The trustees, sponsoring company and other advisers/suppliers are all pleased that they will still have access to Cathy’s expertise and knowledge through to the completion of winding up. It mattered to us that our Pension Manager found a fulfilling role, and the transition to BW has been seamless."
Gary Fishlock Chairman, Metal Box Pension Scheme


The trustees and sponsoring company now had the confidence that the completion of the Scheme winding up would be done in an efficient way. They had retained Cathy’s Scheme-specific knowledge, as well as the wider services offered by BW. A senior alternative consultant was also identified in the event that Cathy was unable to work, and so key man risk was managed. 

Can we help you?

Our team provides a full suite of trustee executive and management services, offering both one-off and ongoing trustee secretarial and scheme governance support, as well as strategic guidance and project management for trustee boards and corporate organisations. If you think your team could benefit from our expertise, please get in touch.

You can also contact Cathy Aston, a key contributor to this blog, or the author below.

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For more information about the independent, expert services we provide in this area, speak to our team today.


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