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12th June 2020

PQM Case study: Leonardo 

Mike Nixon, Head of Pensions at Leonardo explains how achieving the Pension Quality Mark has helped demonstrate the quality of the company's DC scheme.

Leonardo is a global high-tech company and one of the key actors in the aerospace, defence and security sectors worldwide. we have been PQM holders since 2011 and have found PQM an important part of helping to demonstrate to members the ongoing quality of our pension schemes.

Leonardo people are loyal to the company and we have a strong pensions culture in support of this. When our DB schemes were closed to new entrants, and a new DC scheme was introduced in 2007, it was important to be able to demonstrate the value of the new scheme.

Applying for PQM meant that we could reassure members that there would be comparability with key elements of the legacy DB offering; for example competitive employer contributions (through our '2 for 1' matching), life cover, income protection and high-quality trustee governance.

We saw PQM as a way to demonstrate excellence to prospective employees and new joiners - much as the traditional 'two-thirds non-contributory pension' promise used to be seen many years ago as a mark of quality in job adverts under the DB legacy. For existing members PQM provides reassurance that our quality claim stands up to external benchmarking, in line with the changing landscape in which best practice claims tend to be validated through independent standards.

Lastly, we see PQM as a way to future-proof our quality claims. The standards are kept under continual review by the PLSA, and revised in line with any relevant new policy and regulatory requirements - so members can be reassured that holding PQM means our scheme will continue to evolve in line with market developments.

This article first appeared in Viewpoint, the PLSA members' magazine, Summer 2020.

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