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Employers' Panel

The Employers’ Panel enables employers to give their perspective on Nest and contribute to a range of issues and activities.

These issues will vary over time, but could include giving input on whether communications aimed at employers are appropriate and making sure that specific employer concerns are raised at Board level.

The Employers’ Panel is also consulted whenever we review the Statement of investment principles (SIP). This document outlines the Board Members’ approach to how they manage members’ money.

Panel members

Ron is Chair of the Employers Panel, an Independent NED at LPPA (who administer pension schemes for local government, police and fire schemes across the UK) and Chair of 2 UK charities – World at Play (an international sport for development charity) and Tempo Time Credits ( who work with funding agencies and commissioners across the UK to promote, encourage and recognise volunteering). Prior to these roles, Ron had a 30+ year commercial career in Procurement and Supply Chain leadership roles

Emma is Managing Director of CE Back Office Limited, an outsourced payroll bureau based in Cheshire. Emma’s payroll experience started within the temporary labour sector. CE Back Office specialise in managing payroll for workers who are paid by the hour dealing with SMEs within care, construction, engineering, hospitality, recruitment and retail sectors.  Emma first became involved with Nest back in 2014 and regularly uses Nest with the majority of her client base choosing Nest as their pension provider.

Helen Dearden is a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Advisor and has had a long career in finance and tax. Helen is currently the Finance Director of Mersey Gateway Crossings Board Limited, a company established to oversee the construction and operation of the new six lane toll bridge over the Mersey, designed to improve regional transport links encouraging inward investment, and is Finance Director of a small OMB, Telco Sensors Limited, a company specialising in the sale and distribution of sensors. In addition, Helen is the Independent Member of the Audit Committee for the General Pharmaceutical Council and a past Lay Member and Vice Chair of the now defunct Liverpool CCG.  Helen first became involved with Nest when Telco chose Nest as its pension scheme provider.

Ann Fraser is Head of Pensions at the University of Edinburgh. The University of Edinburgh administers many public and private sector pension arrangements, both Defined Benefit and Defined Contribution, and is a supporter of Nest with approximately 1800 actively contributing members.  Ann is Secretary of the University’s in-house defined benefit scheme which has a market value of around £530m, and she manages the external advisers as well as ensuring the Scheme’s investments remain within their strategic allocations. Ann also sits on the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) Institutions Advisory Panel where she represents the employer in relation to USS policy, procedure and practice.  Ann is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

Tim Gibbs is Finance Director for Loomis UK Limited, having joined the Company in 2008. Tim has previously held roles at PwC as Audit Manager and Egg PLC as Finance Reporting Manager and is a chartered accountant. Tim has management responsibility at Loomis UK for all pension matters including the management of the Defined Benefit section of the Loomis UK Pension Scheme which was closed to new joiners from 2001 and from future accrual in 2013. Tim also has experience from a Trustee perspective having been a Trustee and Chairperson of the Loomis UK Pension Scheme up until 2012. Loomis UK supports Nest and chose the Scheme as its pension scheme provider, as part of the implementation of Auto Enrolment in 2013.

Tim passionately believes in the ensuring that all employees are given access to a good quality pension scheme, which is also cost effective from an employer’s perspective. He sees improving employee and member pension communications and engagement as a key challenge for employers, to ensure that all employees make positive and informed choices about their future in line with their individual aspirations and plans.

A payroll and reward specialist, Helen worked for HMRC for 27 years before joining the CIPP’s Policy and Research team, rising to Associate director of Policy. Holding the MSc in Business and Payroll Management through Derby University, Helen is now the Head of Payroll Policy at MBKB, ensuring that payroll apprentices, who are the future of the payroll industry, along with their employers, understand their obligations and are kept up to date with the latest developments in payroll legislation. Helen’s responsibilities with MBKB ensure currency and validity of knowledge and information for learners and members, and going the extra mile for the payroll sector, helping to guide and shape the future of payroll.

Liz is Head of Pension Policy and Strategy at Serco PLC. She has had a long career spanning over 20 years within the finance and systems industries as well as in the public and private sector outsourcing business. Liz also has prior experience within the manufacturing and industrial engineering industries and has worked for companies such as Sodexo Ltd and UK & I as their Head of Pensions. Liz is well respected within the pension industry and works with forums such as the BSA, Cabinet Office Strategic Working Group for Civil Service Pensions, the Railways Pension Scheme and the PMI Development Committee and has recently been asked to join the Pension Management Institute as their first member qualified by experience. Liz first became involved with NEST, then PADA, in developing the current product of employer interfaces.

Sharon Lawn has worked in finance for nearly 30 years and is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).  She is currently the Group Financial Controller for Spicerhaart Group Limited, a family run business which was founded in 1989 and is now the UK’s largest independent Estate Agency group, providing a broad range of property related services.  Prior to this she headed up the Management Accounting function at Britvic Plc and in her early career gained several years of experience in both external and internal audit across various industries. 

Sharon first became involved with Nest in 2012 when, together with the Head of HR, she was responsible for the implementation of auto-enrolment at Spicerhaart and chose Nest as the group’s pension scheme provider for approximately 1,600 employees.

Jim Ross is the Head of Pay and Pensions at the University of Glasgow. The University of Glasgow is a strong supporter of Nest with a current membership of 2641 members. Jim has been employed by the University since 2001 and has been involved in the pay and pension industry for over 30 years. Jim is both a Trustee and Secretary to the Trustee Board for the University of Glasgow’s in‐house defined benefit pension scheme (UGPS) and is the principal point of contact for the eight investment managers who provide investment solutions for this £400M Scheme. He is also a member of the Scheme’s Investment Sub‐Committee. In his role as Payroll Manager, Jim represents the University at British Universities Financial Director’s Group (BUFDG) where he is the Scottish Chair of the Pay & Expenses Group.

Jim is a Fellow of the Charted Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP).

Stephen currently a Textile Sourcing Consultant was Operations Manager of a specialist manufacturer and distributor of Home Furnishings based in Northampton, where he was responsible for selecting Nest as the preferred pension scheme for employees when Auto Enrolment was implemented in 2015. His career began with 20 years in retail including with Marks and Spencer and as a Central Buyer for John Lewis Department Stores. This was followed by 16 years as the Marketing Director of Filigree, the UK’s largest lace curtain manufacturer. Stephen was initially attracted to Nest by the low charges and member-focused structure, as well as the performance of employees’ pension pots. Stephen is a strong supporter of Nest and is passionate about promoting closer engagement between employers and the Nest Scheme.

Rachel has worked in payroll for around 15 years, having achieved her payroll qualification while working as a Payroll Assistant, following completion of a BSc in Geography from the University of St Andrews. Rachel has been Payroll Manager at The Orders of St John Care Trust for over 5 years. The Trust is a leading not for profit care provider and provides care, support and housing to approximately 3500 residents and tenants across 66 homes and 10 accommodation schemes across Gloucestershire, Lincolnshire, Oxfordshire, Suffolk, West Sussex and Wiltshire. The Trust employs more than 4000 staff, and Nest is the Trusts automatic enrolment pension scheme. Rachel also has experience in the for profit sector, having previously worked for Oasis Dental Care (now run by Bupa), Immediate Media, Hanson UK and Thomas Cook.

Russell works at Redington where he is a pensions consultant. This role involves advising employers, trustees and pension providers on defined contribution pensions. He previously worked at Hargreaves Lansdown for over 10 years. He held several leadership roles including Head of Workplace Proposition, Head of Workplace Strategic Development, Head of Retirement and Head of Workplace Retirement. Russell holds professional qualifications in regulated financial planning (Chartered Insurance Institute) and professional marketing (Chartered Institute of Marketing). Outside of work, Russell is a Governor at his local primary school and was a Trustee for a childcare charity for over 10 years where he set up a Nest pension for the charity’s staff. Russell’s interests and areas of expertise include retirement savings adequacy, retirement options, pensions communications and financial wellbeing.

Statement of Investment principles and Terms of Reference


Statement of Investment Principles

This document outlines the Board Members’ approach to how they manage members’ money.

Download (PDF)


Employers’ Panel terms of reference

The panel operates under terms defined in the Employers’ Panel terms of reference.

Download (PDF)

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