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History of the Trust

The information below provides a history of The Pensions Trust.

Introduction
The Early Years
1970s and 1980s
1990s to present

Key information about The Pensions Trust

Introduction
  • The Pensions Trust for Charities and Voluntary Organisations was founded in London on 1 April 1946 as the Social Workers Pension Fund, established by the National Council of Social Service (now the National Council for Voluntary Organisations).
  • Its original remit was to cater for the pension requirements of social workers who were employed by charities and voluntary organisations and who were unable to participate in public sector pension arrangements. This remit has since been widened to include anyone involved in social, educational, charitable, voluntary and other similar work.

The Early Years

  • In its first year of operation the Fund had 271 members, contributions of £6,047 16s 2d and net assets of £5,506 6s 8d. This compares with figures for the year ended 30 September 2008, when membership exceeded 129,000, contributions were £240 million and assets were £3.5billion. 

1970s and 1980s

  • In the late 1970s, interest in Final Salary schemes grew, and gradually many of the larger voluntary organisations moved to this style of pensions provision.
  • The 1970s and 1980s saw an explosion in the number of registered charities, and membership of the Fund reached 10,000 in 1983, with assets exceeding £80 million. The Thatcher years saw the transfer of numerous services and responsibilities from the public into the private sector  - in many cases to not-for-profit organisations - a process which continues to this day.
  • In 1985 the Trust took over the administration of the pension scheme for the National Federation of Housing Associations (now the National Housing Federation) whose scheme is known as the Social Housing Pension Scheme. This scheme has enjoyed rapid growth over recent years, and is today the Trust's largest pension scheme.
  • By the mid 1980s it was felt that the name of the organisation did not adequately reflect its wider membership and growth and in June 1987, the Social Workers Pension Fund changed its name to The Pensions Trust for Charities and Voluntary Organisations.

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1990s to present

  • The next few years were troubled ones for the pensions industry, following the Social Security Act of 1986 that enabled individuals to make their own personal pension arrangements, often with disastrous results. But it was not until after the Mirror Group Pension Scheme collapse in 1991 (the Maxwell scandal), and the subsequent Goode Committee Inquiry, that protection for members was put in place with a Pensions Ombudsman and the provisions of the 1995 Pensions Act.
  • None of the Maxwell-type practices could take place at The Pensions Trust because of the structure of its member-elected Board of Directors, the selection of professional advisers and sound investment principles.
  • In 1993 The Pensions Trust took over the administration of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations' Pension Scheme and opened an office in Edinburgh. The Trust has since relocated its London and Edinburgh administration centres to Leeds, but it still retains small offices in both capital cities.
  • The Ethical Fund, the CARE Scheme and the Flexible Retirement Plan have enhanced the Trust's product range, and we continue to work with our clients to develop pension solutions to meet their requirements. On 4 March 2013, The Pensions Trust launched its auto-enrolment offering SmarterPensions, a customisable platform for defined contribution (DC) pension schemes. The SmarterPensions platform provides an excellent member experience, comprehensive auto-enrolment support for employers and market-leading investment as at a highly competitive price.

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Key information about The Pensions Trust

  • Established in 1946, The Pensions Trust is an occupational pension scheme, established under Trust Law and run as a not-for-profit organisation.
  • It is one of the leading multi-employer occupational pension scheme for the charitable, social, educational, voluntary and not-for-profit sectors.
  • More than 160 staff serving over 2,400 employer organisations with over 157,000 members and pensioners. (Source: Internal).
  • Our Products are: 29 defined benefit schemes, four multi-employer defined benefit schemes, three multi-employer hybrid schemes, the Flexible Retirement Plan and the Ethical Fund.
  • We provide a comprehensive pension administration service, covering all aspects of a trust based pension scheme.
  • Run by a corporate Trustee with a democratically elected Board of Directors. There are currently 12 Directors of the Company (all non-executive) – five elected by employers and five elected by members and two co-opted by the elected Directors. 
  • Fund Size: £5.5 billion funds under management. (Source: Internal).
  • We are the 34th largest pension fund in the UK. (Source: Investment and Pensions Europe: Top 150 UK Leading Pension Funds, October 2012).
  • Some participating schemes also have their own committees who make policy decisions on the management of the Scheme. This means that employers and members can choose to be closely involved in their scheme.