Frequently Asked Questions

The NextGen Mentoring Programme

The NextGen mentoring programme is an industry-wide initiative that gives you the chance to connect with peers you may not ordinarily meet in your day-to-day role. NextGen matches up mentors and mentees using the information you give us, then steps back so you can steer the relationship. The programme is intended to be informal with no rigid structure. Instead, mentors and mentees can agree the right approach for them.

NextGen expects all mentors and mentees who sign up for the programme to have a genuine interest in building new relationships and to devote enough time to the programme to make it a success.

If you have a question that isn’t covered here, then please get in touch with us at:


1. How do you match up mentors and mentees?

We use the information provided by you when you sign up to match up mentors and mentees that we think will complement each other. For example, if you’re looking for a mentor with experience in a specific field, we’ll do our best to pair you up with someone who has exactly that. There may be some requests that we can’t satisfy (e.g. if we don’t have any mentors or mentees with the requested experience), but we’ll always do our best to pair you up with someone suitable.

2. Can I sign up to be both a mentor and a mentee?

Yes, absolutely! We’re looking for a wide range of mentors and mentees and we believe you can benefit from being both a mentor and a mentee at all stages of your career. There’s no minimum or maximum experience requirement for either role. What matters is your enthusiasm to build new professional relationships.

3. How often should I connect with my mentor/mentee?

This is entirely up to you. We suggest connecting at least once per quarter, to help build a meaningful relationship over time, but there’s nothing stopping you connecting much more frequently if that works for both mentor and mentee. If you’re not sure, then we suggest discussing this the first time you connect.

4. How much time should I set aside for the mentoring program?

This is something we suggest you discuss with your mentor/mentee the first time you connect. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to mentoring. As a very rough guide, we suggest putting aside at least 2-3 hours per quarter to cover connecting with your mentor/mentee, as well as any preparation or follow-up you feel you’ll need around those meetings.

5. How long does the mentoring programme last?

Every year a new round of mentoring programme is run for 12 months, albeit there is no formal end date for your mentor / mentee relationship. If things go well there’s no reason this can’t be the start of a much longer mentoring relationship.

6. Should we meet virtually or in-person?

It’s up to individual pairings to agree what is best for them. We understand that face-to-face meetings may not be possible. We’ve seen great mentoring relationships formed through both face-to-face and virtual connections, so neither option needs to be a barrier to a really productive mentoring relationship.

COVID guidance: Mentors and mentees should adhere to all relevant government and (where in place) company regulations and guidelines. This is likely to mean that at least some of your connections with your mentor/mentee will be virtual – we recommend video chat!

7. Who has responsibility for driving the mentor/mentee relationship?

This will vary between different mentor and mentee pairings, though ultimately responsibility is shared between both of you. Mentoring relationships are generally the most effective when both people are invested in the mentoring relationship and keen to connect on a regular basis.

8. Will there be any formal check-in sessions with NextGen?

After we’ve paired up mentors and mentees we will not be formally checking in with individual pairings to see how they are getting on. Instead, we’ll give you the space you need to develop your mentoring relationship. If you have any questions, concerns or comments at any time, however, please let us know at, and we’ll see what we can do to help.

Whilst we won’t do any formal monitoring, we may ask for feedback along the way to help us develop the programme for the future.

9. What sort of things should we discuss when we catch-up?

This is entirely up to you and the mentoring pairing is an opportunity to discuss a wide range of topics. Some common examples from the previous feedback include discussing how to develop certain skills, how to approach a large project or how to gain experience in a new area.

If you’re not sure how to get started, there’s some fantastic guidance available online, including some great “top tips”.

Here are some NextGen top tips on how to get started and how to make the most of the opportunity:

·       Start Simple: Schedule a chat in the coming weeks and introduce yourselves, your roles, your background, and your interests.  Take time to get to know each other before jumping into the more serious stuff.

·       Be Prepared: Specific questions, areas you want feedback on, requests for support etc. For those with an unhealthy fondness of alliteration; Perfect Preparation Prevents Poor Performance!

·       Get out what you put in: Being a mentor or mentee isn’t a proverbial walk in the park. It takes time and energy to cultivate.

·       Listen & evaluate: We’re not saying that counsel need always be followed but it should always be considered. Think of your mentor as your personal reflection guide…not necessarily giving you answers but helping to navigate the long winding road!

10. Are there any training materials for mentors?

NextGen mentoring is an informal programme, so we haven’t produced our own training guide. Get in touch and we’ll do our best to share ideas and thoughts about what we’ve seen work well to help people get started.

11. What should I do if I’m asked a question on a topic that I don’t know the answer to, or feel unqualified to answer?

If you’re asked a question where you don’t know the answer, it’s fine to say that. We want all mentor/mentee relationships to be open conversations where both parties learn from each other. If you don’t know the answer to a question it can be equally as valuable to point your mentor/mentee in the direction of someone who does, or to think about ways to tackle a particular problem.

We appreciate there may also be some topics where mentors/mentees feel unqualified to provide the correct support to their mentor or mentee. If that’s the case, we suggest you refer your mentor/mentee to wider information and support. We’ve included a few examples below, but this is not designed to be an exhaustive list covering all possible topics that may come up.

Mental health and wellbeing

Discrimination or harassment

12. What happens if the mentor/mentee relationship doesn’t work out?

If there’s anything we can do to help resolve any issues, please let us know by emailing the mentoring mailbox: Our goal is to connect great people together and help the next generation of pensions professionals thrive, so we’re here to help!

Some relationships may only last a few sessions whereas others will last your entire career! If you find that the relationship has run its course, please agree this with your mentor/mentee and let us know, especially if you’re interested in exploring another mentor/mentee partnership in future.

It can take time to build an effective mentoring relationship that benefits both the mentor and the mentee. We suggest you wait until you’ve connected a few times before you assess the relationship.

We welcome all feedback on the mentoring programme, so please also drop us an email if you think there are steps NextGen could take to improve the mentoring programme in future.

13. I have applied to become a mentor/mentee, however, I have not yet been matched – why is this?

The mentoring programme may be run at different times each year, therefore should your application be sent outside of this cycle then your application will be reviewed and included within the next round of the mentoring programme.

What if I have other questions?

If you have any questions, please get in touch with us at


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