The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) could ditch its defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) councils and replace them with a single policy board.
The proposal, which will be put to members in a consultation at the end of the month, is designed as part of a modernisation of the trade body, and comes just two years after its rebrand from the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF).
It is one of three options members will be asked to choose from. Alternatively, the PLSA could maintain the status quo, or grant more freedom to the existing councils and committees.
The measure is part of a wider review of the PLSA's constitution and articles of association, which it also hopes to replace at its annual general meeting this Friday 20th October.
Outgoing chairwoman Lesley Williams told the trade body's conference that the constitution, which was drawn up in 1974, made it difficult for the PLSA to adapt to a changing environment.
"Our DC and DB councils have been in place for five years and over that time we've seen an increase in the amount of policy work that cuts across both of them," she said. "We've found that we've had to create new bodies that are not quite part of the council… to address particularly technical areas such as the DB taskforce.
"Doing that means we have to manage projects across several bodies. It's not working that well."
"We think there are better structures," she continued. "Ones that are less bureaucratic, that can bring our diverse membership together, improve the way we make policy, and give better value for money to members."
A single policy board would give "strategic direction" to the PLSA's work, and "take into account the views of all our members", Williams added.
"We can create a body that is more flexible and has more oversight. The policy board will be the right way to do it. It can give us strategic oversight, policy positions that work well for everyone, and do that much more quickly."
Williams also lamented the structure of the PLSA's main board, noting "although none of us are shrinking violets, we are fundamentally a bit geeky".
"If we are diverse, it is only by accident," she said.
For this reason, the organisation has proposed a change to the rules so that the main board is able to draw people external to its councils.
"A board made up entirely of council members is also unstable," she continued. "We want to create a board that is more stable, more independent, and to ditch the requirement for policy people to sit on that board."
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