‘A source of trusted information’. ‘Good job and thanks to the team for supporting us’. ‘We wouldn’t consider getting rid of the membership’.
Sometimes some of our members say the sweetest things. My colleagues and I our Membership Engagement team are tasked with finding out what they really think about the PLSA and the comments I’ve just listed are some of the standout pieces of feedback we’ve gathered over the last few weeks. So I guess we’re getting something right!
But before we congratulate ourselves too much, it’s only fair to note that some members have challenged us as well – asking for more support to help them run their schemes and to ensure they get the most from PLSA membership.
With that in mind, I want to highlight a few things that we’ve already done this year – or will do over the next few weeks – to help our members.
Almost every conversation I have with our members turns at some point to the challenges of reporting on climate-related investment. Gathering and making sense of the data is clearly a big challenge, and that’s before you get to the reporting itself. My Policy colleague have just finalised a set of TCFD reporting templates that will simplify this process, saving valuable time and resource. We also have new voting guidelines on the way.
Policy work programme
Responsible investment is just one of six priorities we’ve set for our Policy work programme for 2022. This is where we act as our members’ voice in Whitehall, Westminster and anywhere else where their operating environment gets shaped. Pensions (in)adequacy and the next steps for auto-enrolment tops this work programme, with the forthcoming DB Funding Code, DC decumulation, local authority pensions and Pensions Dashboards also key areas.
On the LGPS front specifically, my colleagues are writing up the major ‘state of the nation’ research project that we ran last year to examine the future challenges for local authority pensions. It should be agenda-setting and you can expect to see the results in the next month or so.
Joint Industry Forum
Effective lobbying involves working with colleagues across the industry wherever we can, and we have recently taken the chair of the Joint Industry Forum, which brings together the pensions industry bodies for dialogue with government and regulators. Our Director of Policy and Advocacy, Nigel Peaple, is the man in the hot seat. Good luck, Nigel!
Consultation responses and briefings
Our Policy team is also very busy with the ‘bread-and-butter’ work of consultation responses and briefing civil servants, with issues such as the Pensions Minister’s idea of a ‘statement season’ (where we are pointing out the practical challenges) and Pensions Dashboards preparation (do register for our webinar on 31 March) high on the current ‘to do’ list.
On the events front, we are very much looking forward to running in-person conferences again, while still retaining a major online element. We want to provide the networking and ‘break from the day job’ opportunities that so many people have missed, but without throwing away all we have learnt from doing everything online over the last two years. You can register for all this year’s conferences now. See you there!
As you can see, it’s been a busy start to the year. I’ll be posting here once a month with more updates on what the PLSA has been doing. In the meantime, thank you to our members for being part of the PLSA and keep the comments coming…