NAPF rebrands as Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association

The National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) is rebranding to become the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association as it expands its role beyond pensions into other types of long-term saving.

Joanne Segars, chief executive, announced the change at the NAPF Annual Conference & Exhibition.

Segars says the PLSA will speak for all of the workplace pensions community.

Hargreaves Lansdown has described the move as a ‘land grab’ at a time when other savings and investment trade bodies, including the ABI and Investment Association, are facing challenges. The ABI has suffered the loss of key members Legal & General and Aegon while the IA recently squeezed out its chief executive Daniel Godfrey reportedly in response to pressure from members angry at his charge transparency agenda.

Segars says: “Retirement simply doesn’t look like it used to – today people work later in life and they fund their retirement in all sorts of ways. The lines are blurring between work and retirement, between pensions and other forms of saving and between scheme and saver responsibility.

“But some things remain the same – for nearly everyone it takes time, often a lifetime, to build up savings for retirement. And for our members, old and new, from the biggest defined benefit schemes to the smallest and newest automatically enrolled employers, and those schemes’ members, young and old, we want to make that process as straightforward, efficient and clear as we can.

“This is the start of an exciting new period in our Association’s history. Our depth of expertise and credibility have served our members well for over 90 years; and these same strengths allow us to respond positively to the immense changes we’ve seen in our sector in recent times. Our new identity has its roots in our heritage. We’ll still do what we’ve always done – help schemes help their members save confidently for retirement – but our new identity allows us to share our knowledge and expertise directly and readily with more schemes and more savers.

“Of course, we couldn’t do this without the support of our existing members who have encouraged us to be bold and do more. And as we build on our new identity you’ll see us embrace a wider membership and turn our skills and attention to the several ways in which people build up their lifetime savings so we can help them achieve a better income in retirement.”

Hargreaves Lansdown head of retirement policy Tom McPhail says: “The financial services industry’s trade bodies seem to be suffering a collective crisis of identity as they all try to reassert their relevance in a very fast changing world. This announcement also comes hard on the heels of Dan Godfrey’s defenestration from the IA and the departure of L&G and Aegon from the ABI; it looks like an unashamed land-grab as the NAPF bids to establish themselves as the pre-eminent voice for the retirement and savings industry. It is also symptomatic of the blurring of the boundaries between pensions and other savings arrangements in the retirement planning landscape. From consumers and policy-makers point of view, the critical question is whether the industry is putting its customers’ interests first.”