Featured Face: Melanie Cusack

At PTL we pride ourselves on being personable. Meet Melanie Cusack.

Melanie has co-written a factsheet on Actuarial Valuations click here to download to complimentary copy.

Melanie CusackWhat was your favourite subject at school? Worst?

Maths, specifically algebra. Worst was English.

Do you have a nickname?


If you had to be classified as a member of a “generation” which would it be?

80s – big hair, big shoulders.

What was the first record that you bought?

Way too long ago to remember, but I think I bought a Bay City Roller album before I developed some musical taste.

What was the last concert you went to?

Men at Work in Australia.

What did you want to be when you were at school?

Apparently I wanted to be an accountant when I was 9, partly as my feet were too big to be a ballet dancer.

What was your first job?

Sales assistant at a sewing shop.

How did you start in the pensions profession?

Started in life insurance consulting in Sydney and then moved slightly sideways when a job in pensions consulting came up in Perth. That was over 20 years ago.

What is your favourite book and film?

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant and Indiana Jones – Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Do you support a sporting team?

Salisbury Stingrays Swimming Club.

What three adjectives would your colleagues use to describe you?

Reliable, professional, Australian.

What aspect of pensions legislation or provision would you change if you could?

I would prefer to have a period of no change at all – say five years of stability would be a dream come true.

Who is the most irritating person in the industry or public eye?

At the moment, Karren Brady for supporting auto-enrolment then admitting she isn’t saving into a pension herself.

Who is the most influential person in the pensions industry?

Steve Webb.

Should saving into a pension be compulsory?


Pension or ISA?


What is your worst habit?

Talking too fast.

When was the last time you lost your temper?

Last Sunday.

What was the last “bargain” you got?

A large cast iron fire grate for my fireplace for £20 on ebay.

What is your favourite meal and drink?

All Thai food and Australian red wine.

What is the biggest bet you ever placed and did you win?

£100 of fake casino chips on a roulette well and yes, I won.  Shame it wasn’t real money.

Who would be your ideal dinner guest?

Harrison Ford or Robbie Williams, but only to look at.

What was the last country you visited?


How do you plan to spend your retirement years?

With friends and family: half the year in Australia, half in UK, and getting my photos sorted.

Congratulations, you’ve won the lottery. What next?

Assuming it is a big win, buy the retirement house in Australia, spend a little on some frivolous items for family and friends, invest the rest and buy another lottery ticket.

Melanie has worked in the pensions industry since 1988 addressing both statutory and non-statutory actuarial and non-actuarial aspects of UK occupational pension schemes, most recently at Towers Perrin.  As a qualified pensions actuary, she has strong project management skills and a pragmatic “can-do” approach.

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