LEONARDO Helicopters – regarded as the home of British helicopters - has appointed a new pension scheme adviser, James Edginton writes.

Robert Watkin has been appointed as the scheme actuary for the Leonardo Helicopters pension scheme.

Leonardo is the only organisation in the UK, with an end-to-end helicopter manufacturing capability, meaning that Leonardo in Yeovil can design, develop, manufacture, test, and certify helicopters, in addition to the provision of subsequent training, support, and upgrades for customers.

Furthermore, globally, Leonardo is among the top ten world players in aerospace, defence, and security, with more than 51,000 employees and a significant industrial presence in Italy, the United Kingdom, Poland, and the USA.

Following a competitive process, the Yeovil-based company has appointed pension consultancy Isio to act as actuarial adviser to the Trustee of the Leonardo Helicopters Pension Scheme.

Isio’s Robert Watkin, an experienced actuary, and partner in Isio’s Bristol office, will take on the role of scheme actuary for Leonardo’s £1.8 billion pension scheme, which benefits around 5,000 pension scheme savers.

Leonardo Helicopters Pension Scheme is a long-standing UK registered defined benefit pension scheme established to reward and provide for the retirement of current and former employees of Leonardo UK.

The Chair of trustees of the Leonardo Helicopters Pension Scheme, Martin Flavell commented: “As trustees we endeavour to provide excellent outcomes for our members.”

“A key part of this is partnering with advisers who seek to promote innovative and effective solutions in a cost-efficient way. Following a detailed market review and competitive tendering process, we are delighted to be partnering with Isio, with the team being led by Robert Watkin”.

Isio, launched in March 2020, is a leading independent UK provider of actuarial and consulting, pensions administration, investment advisory, employee reward and benefits, and wealth advisory services. 

With a national team of 1,000 people across ten regional hubs, Isio is committed to promoting financial wellbeing for all and works with companies, trustees, and individuals to help them make informed decisions to protect their financial future. 

Robert Watkin, Partner at Isio and scheme actuary for Leonardo Helicopters Pension Scheme said: “We’re very proud to be selected as Scheme Actuary for this large, historic pension scheme, sponsored by one of the UK’s leading aerospace companies.

“As a challenger consultancy, we bring fresh thinking and enthusiasm to the table.

"We look forward to working with the Trustee and Leonardo to drive forward the strategic journey for the Scheme and deliver better outcomes for the Scheme’s members.”