10 ways to get the most from your PLSA membership

10 ways to get the most from your PLSA membership 

The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) represents more than 1,300 pension schemes, including defined benefit, defined contribution, master trusts and local government funds. In addition, we have over 400 business members providing essential services and advice to UK pension schemes.

Being a member of the PLSA – either as a pension fund or as a business – opens up a wealth of opportunities to get involved with our policy work, learn from the expertise of other members and share your own knowledge. Here are just 10 ways to make the most of your PLSA membership. 

1. Stay up to date

Our PolicyWatch email bulletin, sent fortnightly to all PLSA members, keeps you up to date with the latest political and regulatory developments that affect pension schemes.

Made Simple Guides give practical information on key pensions topics. They are available from our website at a low price for members. In 2018, the subjects we covered included impact investing (in association with Hermes), master trusts (in association with HSBC Global Asset Management) and cost transparency (in association with KAS Bank). We are always looking to partner with our business members to create new guides. If you have expertise you want to share with the pensions community, get in touch with our commercial team.

2. Build your network

Our Annual Conference, held in October each year, is the perfect opportunity for all the pensions industry to network, share knowledge, and support each other as members. We have a top-quality programme every year featuring topical speakers from pensions and the wider business community.

3. Broaden your knowledge 

We run teach-ins, webinars, education partnerships and other learning opportunities throughout the year. These are a great way of sharing knowledge and best practice with our fund members. Many of these are free for PLSA members, so you can take advantage of as many learning opportunities as you need. 

4. Get involved

The PLSA is at the forefront of developing good governance for pension schemes. Our Policy Board shapes and decides on our public policy positions. Being a part of its committees and reference groups is a great way to make sure your voice is heard. Visit the website to find out how you can get involved. 

5. Build the future 

Through work such as our 2018 Hitting the Target research, we want to understand and help to shape the future of pensions and lifetime savings. We want to involve as many members as we can in our research, and make sure that the resulting reports are available to as wide an audience as possible. 

6. Share specialist interests

We also run three additional conferences each year focused on particular groups of members. Our Investment Conference, in March, is purely based around investment themes. The Local Authority Conference, in May, focuses on the needs of our local authority scheme members. Finally, our Trustee Conference, held in December, gives both member-nominated and independent trustees the chance to network and discuss issues of specific importance to them. The Annual and Investment Conferences are both free to attend for fund members. 

7. Get local

We have members across the UK and run local member groups where you can network and stay up to date both with the latest pensions thinking and the PLSA’s activities. Find out on our website if there is a group near you (and if there isn’t, whether you could set one up!). 

8. Use our resources

The PLSA’s website has a well-stocked document library that details our responses to government consultations, reports on our Board meetings and our research work. It’s a great resource for finding out more about how our policy work is progressing and what current government consultations could mean for your fund or business. 

9. Go international

However Brexit develops, EU and international regulations will continue to have a major impact on UK pension schemes and financial services providers. We work closely with policy-makers in the European Commission and European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA). The PLSA is also a member of PensionsEurope, the Europe-wide federation of national pensions associations. This makes sure that the voice of our members is heard beyond the UK and that we play a part in forming international pensions policy that will affect our members. If you want to know more about our international work, visit the website. 

10. Get accredited

The Pension Quality Mark is the PLSA’s long-standing kitemark of good defined contribution scheme governance. Members can apply for PQM and PQM-Plus accreditation for their own scheme and also use our free resources, such as the Good Communications Guide, to raise standards. 

Stay in touch

There are plenty of ways to stay up to date with what we are working on. We update our website with blog posts reporting on policy work and other projects. You can also follow us on Twitter at @ThePLSA and on LinkedIn, as well as subscribing to our YouTube channel. Plus, of course, you can read and download the latest issue of Viewpoint from our website!