A day in the life of … Kunjan Sembhi

26th February 2024

My day starts with an early morning alarm as I head downstairs to put the kettle on and start to think about the day ahead. I take a cuppa up to my better half (who’s only just stirring!) and I catch up with morning news on breakfast tv with half an eye on the clock in the corner of the screen. There’s a brief calm before the storm of three waking teenagers and the inevitable cry of “Mum, where’s my PE kit?” or “Mum, I can’t find my shoes” ensues.

Family members safely dispatched and a brief check of my emails, before I set off on my short commute to our Central England office. After the obligatory check-in phone call to Mum and Dad on the way, I arrive at my desk and join the rest of the Corporate Team, ready to start the day. With a mug of tea and a glass of water by my side, a quick “good morning” to the team, I’m looking at my to-do list. A varied day ahead.

I start with a review of pensions warranties in a share sale and purchase agreement followed by a call set up with the client to discuss auto enrolment obligations. Thankfully all seems to be in order. Next, a pension scheme trustee client needs advice on what pension increases to apply to spouses pensions, on pension accrued after 5 April 1997, on the death of the member. The rules and associated legislation (is it RPI or CPI – or even LPI?!) are by no means straightforward and so after a couple of hours grappling with the issues, an email setting out my advice and an impending headache, my mind slowly starts turning to lunch! Feel extremely lucky to have a fabulous canteen, I am tempted by lasagne and chips, but I manage to make a more sensible choice.

Most of my afternoon is going to be spent reviewing a benefit specification, usually drafted by an insurer or benefit consultant. There are several trust deeds to plough through to ensure the specification accurately reflects the benefit structure – any inconsistencies could result in a costly liabilities and a premium hike!

Late afternoon  – check on emails and a client is asking for interpretation on a scheme’s rules and trustee’s power to return surplus funds to the employer; I also find a separate request to prepare a deed of appointment and removal of a trustee. I round off the day catching up on any internal emails from colleagues and the various charitable and wellbeing initiatives – more cake on the horizon! – before making sure my time recording is up to date, desk is tidy. I contemplate heading to the gym but I am distinctly drawn home to the familiar cries of “Mum, what’s for dinner?”.

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