The National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) has rebranded to the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association and announced a change in direction that reflects the “changing definition of pensions”.
In a press briefing before the announcement was officially made at this year’s NAPF annual conference, chief executive Joanne Segars said: “This is about facing up to that changing definition of pensions. We need to think about interactions with ISAs, long-term careers, the list goes on. It’s much more complex than it used to be; putting by for retirement.”
Director of external affairs Graham Vidler added that saving for retirement through property would also become an area of increased focus. “From our point of view of helping people get better retirement income we think equity release is very important,” he said.
“The other area is working. People in these circumstances [older workers] don’t want to work the way they have done in the past, they need more flexibility. There aren’t enough of these jobs so that’s an area we can talk about as well.”
This broader remit will cover all activities, including the association’s lobbying work, research and thought leadership on policy and legislation, as well as its events, it said.
“What we’ll do in the next year is broaden our events. We already have non-pension events. It’s exciting and there’s a lot of room to grow,” said Vidler, adding: “We’ll be partnering with organisations who know about these areas. A lot of what we do is bringing people together to talk about things so we’ll start to bring a broader cross-section of people together.”
The association said it doesn’t envisage any significant expansion or restructure, rejecting the suggestion at its press announcement that an intention to grow membership motivated the change.
“This is about recognising the way the world is changing,” said Segars. “There’s huge potential to grow and the market will evolve as it always has. But it’s not a push for growth; it’s taking account of an evolving marketplace.”
She added: “We are already doing much more than a few years ago in terms of training, we are now training HR professionals not just trustees. As the market changes we have always taken in different members. One example is the two million employers coming in as a result of auto-enrolment.”
However, she said: “not everything we do will change. We will still be lobbying for better pensions. We will still be providing events like our annual conference.
“Pensions are at the heart of what we are doing; they are our DNA.”