Pensions Board update - March 2023

Glyn Bradley provides an update on the Pensions Board's spring meeting.

In writing this meeting’s blog there’s a very particularly reason for making sure wider pensions members can get a sense of what activities the Pensions Board is doing on their behalf. And that’s because our first item, with many of us coming to the end of our term this summer, was the new opportunities for others to get involved – look out for the adverts.

The board has about 4 or 5 meetings a year, and always has a lot to pack in those few hours. As a member based outside the south-east, with work and family demands, I’m pleased our meetings are either entirely online or with a hybrid option once a twice a year to get together in London. Our remit is wide-ranging and covers everything from the future of the actuarial profession to very specific things like consultations, webinars and the new website. Harvi Rana’s recent update gives a great overview of recent months.

In March’s meeting we began with an update from the Market Development team – what is was that, globally, employers of actuaries are looking for, and how the IFoA can support employers and their actuaries with that. Ultimately this is to support actuaries present and future in the work, and we were pleased to hear the next phase of their work is to speak more to potential-but-not-yet employers of actuaries. The board emphasised the point that we need an effort to attract new recruits into pensions ranks, and counter a perception in some quarters that pensions actuaries are about to go the way of the fax machine.

Next we turned to the IFoA website, with the Web Editor talking us through the overhaul underway of, discarding redundant pages, and optimising it to work on smartphones.  There are a few things still to come – not least an improved search function. Let us know how you find the new website.  The Digital Communities manager then spoke about 1500 users (initially from the IFoA volunteers base) signed up to IFoA new social media site – expect to hear a lot more about this. Council members and the presidential team are regular guests at our meetings.

The sub-committees then reported, with me as the chair of the pensions research sub-committee (see my blog on this from last year) joined by my deputy and soon to be successor. It’s really good to see to see several of our member-led working parties now bringing their work to conference workshops, sessional meetings, and into the IFoA’s policy work. Check out the vacancies, and let me know if you have any other ideas we should be doing something on. Our consultations committee is busy at the moment, not least with the new funding code. They were looking for more DC members, so if you are a DC-focussed actuary with an interest in how that area is regulated please get in touch. Our lifelong learning committee previewed some of the sessions coming up on future webinars and conferences. They are always interested in new ideas and potential speakers – again, please get in touch if you’re interested or think we’re missing something.

The last part of our meeting focussed on work being done elsewhere in the IFoA and what that means for us. We had updates from on International associations; Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI); professional regulation; and the Financial Reporting Group to name a few. A regular pensions board highlight for me is the IfoA policy manager who briefs us on all the IFoA campaigns, press activity, and external interaction with regulators, MPs and industry bodies.

My 18 months as a pensions board member has flown by, and I’ve definitely got more to do.

If you’ve read this far and interested in hearing more about getting involved please message me.