Our Story

Pensions Advisory and Trustee Services


Align Pensions is an independent company created by the current three directors, Sam Ashraf, Darren Howarth and Bhavna Kumar.  We act as either professional independent trustees or qualified actuaries for our clients. As a result, we are able to bring the ‘best of breed’ ideas to you. We are also experienced in providing investment consulting and administration services to trustees.

Align Pensions focuses on providing trustee or advisory services to small and medium sized pension schemes, whether that be for the trustee board or the sponsoring employer. In particular, we are an experienced group of pension professionals providing pragmatic and proportionate approaches for schemes. We take pride in planning and implementing successful outcomes, using the experience we have gained from a combined 60 years’ experience in the pensions industry.

We are very experienced at providing trustee services, as part of an existing trustee board or on a sole trusteeship basis, to both defined benefit and defined contribution schemes. Sponsors have found that we have a proven track record of taking schemes successfully through the full journey to wind up and reducing advisory fees to levels which often more than offsets our charges. We also charge for our services at materially lower levels than other independent trustee firms.

We believe that the current ‘full services’ advisory model often adopted by sponsors and trustees of occupational pension schemes should be reconsidered and revised. In particular, we firmly believe that a number of the administration services that are currently often outsourced can be delivered more cost effectively by alternative means and we have experience of establishing and delivering services in this manner.

The advisory industry has contracted over recent years due to mergers and acquisitions, which in our view has limited the breadth and quality of advice available in the market. We have set up Align Pensions to fill the gap that we believe has been created and to provide high quality and truly independent services and advice as a wholly director owned business, with no outside shareholders, bank loans or other financial commitments. The business we have created enables us to make decisions in the interests of our clients – we will always be very clear with what we believe you should do to provide positive outcomes as well as recommending what should not be done. As a business, we have no pressures to sell what we believe to be unsuitable projects.

In larger firms, larger clients often get precedence over smaller clients. As a specialist in servicing small to medium sized schemes, Align Pensions will provide the attention you need. We will always provide tailored advice, rather than being restricted by or following house views.

Align Pensions are true to our common values of:

·  Fairness and transparency on fees – we do not have chargeable or billing targets and do not sell services or products our clients do not need. We will be clear on what the fees for our services will be;

·  Professionalism – we focus on providing high quality, clear and scheme specific advice which is delivered to agreed deadlines.

·  Focused on positive scheme outcomes – we are passionate about improving the service levels that members, trustees and companies currently receive in order to restore greater public faith in the pensions industry.

We are confident that we have many ideas that can improve the current outcomes for the stakeholders of pension schemes and we are always delighted to work with new clients. If you wish to discuss your current scheme, we would be more than happy to meet you to find ways that we can assist.