Helping members run their schemes, February update | PLSA
 Helping members run their schemes, February update

Helping members run their schemes, February update

05 February 2024

I thought I should share with you one of the slides presented at last week’s internal PLSA all-staff meeting on the work of our Policy and Advocacy team.


We used the meeting to review all our 2023 activities and our plans for this year. What struck me from the slightly packed (sorry, colleagues!) slide was just how much impact and influence the team has had in Whitehall and Westminster. I suspect much of this is well below our members’ radar – hence my sharing it with you now.

Top of the list was the Government-backed legislation to reform auto-enrolment – abolishing the lower earnings limit on contributions and bringing AE entitlement down to age 18. The PLSA had been advocating both reforms for some while and amounts the key first step in our overall goal to ensure everyone in the UK has a better retirement income.

The list also highlighted the DB Funding Code, where we secured extra flexibility, especially for open schemes. The resulting DB Funding Regulations, which take effect from 6 April, are explicitly more accommodating of appropriate risk-taking, where it can be supported by the employer covenant, and increase the scope for scheme-specific flexibility. It’s a significant set of 'win'’ for PLSA members. Meanwhile, on the DC side of things we were hugely pleased to see many of our Guided Retirement Income Choices proposals being adopted by the DWP.

One other area that took a lot of PLSA staff time (and is our top strategic priority for this year) was Pensions and Growth and the initiatives under the 'Mansion House agenda'. The succinct summary on the slide – 'high level of engagement with Ministers and officials' – covers a huge amount of briefing and liaison to inform policy-makers about how pension funds invest. The result, as noted, was 'we preserved investment freedom' and avoided mandatory asset allocation targets – another crucial outcome for PLSA members.

Alongside Pensions and Growth, our other strategic priority for 2024 is our 2035 Vision for Pensions, a piece of work that will set out the reforms we want to see over the next two parliaments. You will hear plenty about this as the year progresses.

Plenty to discuss, starting at our Investment Conference in Edinburgh (27-29 February). I hope to see you there.

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