The Value of IMPAC

IMPAC has been monitoring the activities of the Imperial Tobacco Pension Fund for more than 30 years in order to support the interests of our Fund members. However, United Kingdom and European Union Government legislation, ostensibly aimed at protecting the interests of pensioners, often leads to unintended consequences, made more complicated by the varying fiscal arrangements of each EU country. The repositioning of Imperial Brands PLC as a force in the world-wide tobacco market has had an impact on the ITL Pension Fund – the DB (Defined Benefits) section is now closed to new entrants – and will continue to be so in the future.

National Council holds at least two meetings each year. So what do we do?

Here are some of the major areas where we can exercise an influence on your behalf.

1. The Company and Trustees:
The Trustees of the ITL Pension Fund have powers for the running of the Fund similar to a board of directors of a company. There are 2 Pensioner nominated Trustees.

2. Pension Fund Management:
IMPAC is now the sole representative of Imperial pensioners and we now hold scheduled meetings with Trustee Board members and Pension Fund Management on an annual basis. Items raised at these meetings are drawn from questions raised by our members either through our website, helpdesk or newsletter. The National Council will also table questions on external pension related matters or strategic areas of interest relating to our fund. In addition, IMPAC will be updated on Fund activities and investments.

3. Professional Advice:
Your contributions enable IMPAC to engage both Pension Legal advisers and a team of Actuaries, who are well versed with our Fund and are available to us if we do need to seek Legal and/or Actuarial advice. Both firms used are recognised nationally as leading experts in their respective fields.

4. Actuarial Triennial Valuations:
Every 3 years, the Pension Fund charges a Scheme Actuary to value the liabilities of the Fund and to set parameters for the future to secure the payment of a pension to every member of the Fund for their life- time. Supported by a review of the results made by our professional advisers, IMPAC questions the Actuary, the Company and Trustees on the results of the valuation. The amount of detail accompanying the valuation has increased considerably in both volume and complexity and the scheme Actuary now also meets with IMPAC to present and explain the outcome and recommendations of the Triennial Valuation.

IMPAC’s Role Today:
We continue to be the ‘External Guardian’ of the Fund, alert and ready to challenge any issues that arise from the Trustees, the Company or the Government, that might affect our pensions. The IMPAC National Council ensures that it fully understands the activities of the Pension Fund and where necessary, to call on the advice of experts to ensure members are kept informed on key issues and/or receive clarification and responses to their questions. We do this by communicating with our members through our website, newsletters or meeting them at one of our open meetings that we hold around the country. Our vigilance over the years has been recognised by the Trustee Board and Pension fund Management alike, and they acknowledge that IMPAC has a role to play in communicating with the Fund’s grassroots membership, not least in our ability to ‘cascade’ information and comment to and from the membership and provide valuable feedback to the Board. Today, the role of IMPAC is very different from those early days, however, our fundamental aim remains the same which is that we are an organisation dedicated to supporting the interests of all members of the Fund.

Your support is greatly appreciated
The IMPAC National Council