The NAPF answers 10 questions about its decision to rebrand as The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association - including what was wrong with the existing brand and how it will change in the future.
What was wrong with the brand, the National Association of Pension Funds?
Our existing brand has served us well but our new name is a clearer description of what we've already started to do and what we'll be doing more of in the future. So although we could have continued to operate as the National Association of Pension Funds, we would at some point have had to revisit our brand as we deliver our strategy for 2020 and become an organisation that reflects and expresses the way saving for retirement is changing.
Our strategy is that by 2020, we will be an organisation that:
• Speaks for all of the workplace pensions community
• Looks beyond pensions and also speaks about lifetime savings
• Supports savers
Have you changed your brand because the organisation is failing?
Far from it, it's because we're growing - both in numbers and scope - that we're making this change. Through our members the numbers of savers we represent is growing year on year and the type of work we do has already extended to encompass issues beyond pensions - for example, our Understanding Retirement research series looks at how the recent pension freedoms fit into the overall context of retirement, so our policy work can influence change to the benefit of schemes and savers.
We're responding now to the changes happening in how people approach and fund retirement and when you consider the sheer scale of the change you'll see just how significant it is:
• 1.8m new small employers with a duty under Automatic Enrolment
• 2.6m people enrolled in master trusts in just one year to March 2015
• Private pension, state pension, property, ISAs, work - now all of these and more are used to fund retirement, often in a mix
• An explosion in the products available to savers, from a compulsory purchase of an annuity to a variety of options
• £1.5 trillion AUM by defined benefit schemes to pay pensions for at least the next twenty or thirty years
Why have you changed your identity now?
We thought long and hard about if we needed to change. Having made the decision that we did, we looked carefully at when would be the right time to change. Our decision to change now is based on our belief that we should say exactly what we mean and our new name is a clearer description of who we are and who we'll be in the future.
We also considered the underlying costs that changing a brand brings with it and changing now also fitted with avoiding extra cost where possible.
Who developed the new brand for you?
We worked with leading creative consultancy, Wolff Olins. We chose to work with Wolff Olins because of their impressive track record of working with high profile and complex organisations such as Macmillan Cancer Support, The Guardian Members, as well as commercial giants like PwC and Allianz Global Investors.
How much has it cost?
We're not disclosing the cost as it's commercially confidential. We were as careful with the cost of this project as we are with everything else we do and our board is satisfied that it represents great value for money and a great investment in our future. We've minimised costs by doing this project now when we are getting to the point of needing to refresh much of our collateral anyway, so the cost of the project has absorbed those costs from a later date. That said we believe it is important to invest enough in this project to allow us to do it thoroughly and thoughtfully so we get a result that works for the long term. We believe we've achieved that balance of careful investment.
What do your members think?
Members understand the need for change and have urged us to be bold. We've discussed extensively with our board and with our policy-making councils and ran several consultation groups with members earlier this year to get views and insight from all parts of our membership.
Will members be able to vote on whether they like the change or not?
At this stage we've just changed our trading name - so we are the NAPF trading as the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association. That change doesn't require member approval at the annual general meeting. We will ask our member to change the legal name at next year's AGM.
What do you mean by lifetime savings?
We think of them as what people put by over their working lives to help them fund their retired lives. In years gone by this used to be just a pension, either from the State or a private pension. Today people provide for their retirement in many ways. Pensions still play a big role - and workplace pensions will continue to be the backbone of this as Automatic Enrolment grows in scale and defined benefit schemes continue to pay pensions to their members for at least the next twenty to thirty years - but we know people also factor things like property, ISAs, other savings and even working part-time into their plans for funding retirement.
Does that mean your work will expand to cover other issues and products like ISAs, equity-release and long-term care?
Yes. If we're going to be able to represent our members, and their members, effectively we have to understand the world in which they operate. Pensions, even great workplace pension schemes, don't operate in isolation any more. They interact with other savings and at times the welfare system, especially as people live longer and it's likely greater numbers of people will have to rely on some form of long-term care. So our lobbying work, research and thought-leadership on policy and legislation have to look beyond just pensions. We'll have to consider the role property, work and other savings play in funding retirement.
If you're supporting savers what will you offer them?
You're right, we are supporting savers. The core of our expertise lies in workplace pensions - which provide pensions for over 17 million people - so as you can see we already have a pretty wide reach with savers. It's this sort of reach and our existing work that our new identity builds on but we will be doing more to speak directly to and for savers as that's something some of our members have asked us to help them with. Our Understanding Retirement research already starts us on this path as does our joint-enterprise with Wealth at Work to offer employee retirement seminars for people dealing with the choice presented by the new pension freedoms.
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