Whatever the relationship between a company and its pension fund, it’s almost inevitably going to be complicated.

Financial directors that are running finance in modern, dynamic companies often find they are tethered to legacy schemes- that in some cases may dwarf the company.

Although pension de-risking may have already taken place, such as moving from defined benefit to defined contribution schemes or outsourcing some elements, there is still likely to be some form of financial dependency on the sponsor.

Therefore financial directors- who by and large are the company’s representative when it comes to liaising with specialist managers and trustees have to view issues relating to the pension scheme as part of a wide risk management strategy.

Kicking the issue down the road by fobbing off trustees- is a dangerous option that can come back to bite–particularly when you’re attempting a major transaction or recovery programme.

So the finance director’s approach ought to be one of regular contact with the scheme’s representatives- sometimes requiring soft skills to see through a complex act of brinkmanship.

Carillion directors’ failure to address the pension scheme’s deficit as it ballooned to nearly £1 billion, has provided yet another case study of how not to run a company.