The U.K.'s trade body for occupational pension funds has become the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, in recognition of recent and future changes to the retirement market.
Formerly the National Association of Pension Funds, the change was announced by Joanne Segars, CEO, at the association's annual conference held in Manchester, England.
At a briefing ahead of the official announcement, Ms. Segars said: “It is about the changes, from (defined benefit) to (defined contribution,) it is about the introduction of auto enrollment — which is changing the nation's saving habits. It is about the change brought about by freedom and choice, which is starting to change our understanding of pensions,” said Ms. Segars. She was referring to changes that came into effect this April, removing a requirement for DC participants to purchase an annuity to provide income in retirement.
She added that potential changes to the taxation of pensions, “which threatens to shake things up again,” and the effects of economics, politics and environmental changes, “all affect what we do.”
The association has been considering these changes and what they mean for its future, conversing with members, non-members and its board.
“The conclusion … was absolutely clear: If the world is changing, we need to change too; so that we can shape the future, anticipate the future and get ready for the future of pensions, help our members and their scheme members, and help millions of people who are trying to do the right thing,” said Ms. Segars.
The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association's will, by 2020, speak for “all of the (retirement) sector — from the biggest DB scheme to the smallest and newest auto-enrollment employer; from every part of the employer and every corner of the U.K. That means we want to talk beyond pensions, to lifetime savings,” said Ms. Segars. The association's clear purpose is “to help everyone achieve a better income in retirement,” she added.
The association will be reaching out to new members, and will start the process this fall with the charity sector, the few local authorities that it does not already work with and universities, she said.