Hi, I am Simon Gilliat and am Chair of the Pensions Research Sub-committee.
I first volunteered about 18 months ago after over 30 years in the profession. I was in a less demanding role and felt that it was time to give something back. Initially I volunteered to be part of a working party on a subject that was close to my heart (and my previous experience). Fairly soon I was asked to join the sub-committee and when the chair decided to move on I was elevated to Chair!
With the pace of change only getting faster, Pensions Research is an incredibly interesting area right now. Our job is to think ahead and mobilise volunteers within the profession to develop ideas and perspectives on pensions in the future. Due to the volunteer nature of the working parties and sub-committee, this is both rewarding and challenging. Rewarding as the energy and enthusiasm of the working party members is infectious. Often the role of the sub-committee members tasked with shadowing working parties is to focus minds, as otherwise topics covered and outputs get wider and larger! Challenging as the volunteers all have other commitments and mobilising new working parties, especially can be difficult.
Some of the topics that have come out of working parties have lead in part to new legislation, such as CDC and Collective Benefit Schemes and Pensions Dashboards. Whilst others have underpinned some of the work behind the Great Risk Transfer Debate.
Going forward increasingly our working parties cover topics that are broader than just pensions and we link with other practice areas to ensure that all angles are covered. A good recent example is a new working party on pension decumulation pathways.
We are always on the lookout for new volunteers either for working parties or to join the sub-committee. If you are interested please contact Elvis Gannon.