Man Utd and The FA net PQM Standards for pensions | PLSA
Man Utd and The FA net PQM Standards for pensions

Man Utd and The FA net PQM Standards for pensions

01 August 2013

Premier League football champions Manchester United and football’s governing body, The Football Association (FA), have become the latest employers to score the top mark of excellence for their defined contribution (DC) pensions.

Manchester United is the first football club to attain the Pension Quality Mark (PQM) PLUS standard for its Group Pension Scheme, which has around 578 active members. And The FA has been recognised by a PQM award for its scheme, which has 530 savers.

PQM was set up by the National Association of Pension Funds to recognise good quality DC pension schemes that have high standards of governance, good contribution levels, and member communications that are clear, regular and engaging.

The football club’s latest news follows the retirement of one of the most successful managers in British football history. Sir Alex Ferguson won 40 trophies – including 13 Premier League titles – during his time in charge of Manchester United. 

Chris Hitchen, PQM Chairman, said:

"Manchester United and the FA are two of the biggest brands in British and world football. We are delighted to have these big names come on board.

“Both these sporting giants recognise the importance of providing good pensions to their staff and view PQM as the symbol of a quality pension. The club and the sporting body are demonstrating leadership and success both on and off the pitch.

“By achieving the benchmark Manchester United and the FA can show their current and potential staff the quality of their schemes, and the valuable benefit it provides in helping them save for the future.”

Philip Townsend, Director of Communications at Manchester United, said:

“With all the changes in pension arrangements, the trustees felt it was very important that our staff could have confidence in their scheme in order to achieve our key objective of increasing member engagement.

“Securing this independent recognition for the Manchester United Group Pension Scheme is an important step in the way we communicate the benefits of retirement planning to staff.”

Andrew Crean, Group Chief Financial Operator at The FA said:

“Having the Pension Quality Mark enables us to offer reassurance to our staff that the pension benefit that we provide is of high value. It is a positive message that has been well received especially as pensions are being brought to the forefront of people’s minds due to the auto-enrolment legislation.”

PQM was launched by the NAPF in September 2009 and 181 pension schemes covering over 300,000 active scheme members have been awarded the PQM to date.

There are two levels, PQM and PQM PLUS. PQM recognises DC schemes whose total contributions are at least 10%, with a minimum employer contribution of 6%. PQM PLUS is the highest standard that can be attained through PQM. Under PQM PLUS, the scheme’s total contributions must equal at least 15% of an employee’s salary, with a minimum employer contribution of 10%.

More on PQM

Notes to editors:

1. The NAPF is the leading voice of workplace pensions in the UK. We speak for 1,300 pension schemes with some 16 million members and assets of around £900 billion. NAPF members also include over 400 businesses providing essential services to the pensions sector.

2.  For further details on the Pension Quality Mark & the Friend of the Pension Quality Mark initiative:  and

3. Ma nchester United has a 135-year heritage, won 61 trophies, and a global community of 659 million followers. Its large, passionate community provides Manchester United with a worldwide platform to generate significant revenue from multiple sources, including sponsorship, merchandising, product licensing, new media & mobile, broadcasting and match day.

4.  The FA is the not-for-profit, governing body of football in England. It grows participation, promotes diversity and regulates the sport for everyone to enjoy.

Seven million players of all ages, 400,000 volunteers, 300,000 coaches and 27,000 qualified referees help The FA keep the grassroots game going.

The FA runs 24 England teams, across men’s, women’s, youth and disability football, utilising the world-class facilities of Wembley Stadium and St. George’s Park.

Football is the nation’s favourite game. The FA aims to grow it further in 2013. To find out more about events in The Football Association s 150th year, and to get involved in football, visit  and follow @FA150



Paul Platt, Head of Media and PR, NAPF, 020 7601 1717 or 07917 506 683, [email protected]

Aimee Savage Richards, Press Officer (interim), NAPF, 020 7601 1718 or 07825 171 446,  [email protected]

Greg Demetriou, Head of Corporate Communication, The FA,  07812 062 837, [email protected]

Stephanie Toman, Corporate Media Relations Manager, Manchester United, 0161 868 8221 or 07785 451 036,  [email protected]

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