Spotlight on Vince Linnane
Chief executive, Pensions Management Institute
After nearly two decades at the Pensions Management Institute, Vince Linnane became chief executive in 2006. In the past year the PMI has branched out into fresh territory with the launch of two new diplomas.
The first qualification, which was rolled out in October, covers auto-enrolment. The second, a certificate in regulated retirement advice, is targeted at independent financial advisers. Last year the PMI also launched the Association of Professional Pension Trustees, which grew out of the Independent Pension Trustees Group.
“Jumping around at Wembley when West Ham went up was the single most energetic thing I did last year. In terms of the PMI, we’ve been far more proactive about going out to the industry. People probably have a very different perception of us than probably was the case five or 10 years ago.
The initial take-up [of the auto-enrolment diploma] has been employee benefit consultants, who want the independent stamp of approval for the training that they conduct internally. But we’ve also had more than 40 different companies sign up for it. These range from household names to much smaller companies that are doing the homework for their auto-enrolment staging dates well ahead of the game. The message with regard to AE is to make sure that you do your homework early.
“The importance of auto-enrolment can’t be overestimated for the credibility of pensions. The take-up of the auto-enrolment qualification has been so good. We targeted getting 150 students by the end of last year and already had 220 by the end of November, so we’re up to scratch on that.
“We have introduced qualifications that have taken us beyond our comfort zone, including our first Financial Services Authority registered qualifi cation, the diploma in regulated retirement advice. When we speak to IFAs, which is a market we’ve not engaged with before, they’re looking to diversify and know more about workplace pensions arrangements.
“I’m hoping that during 2013 there is another look at collective defined contribution. It eliminates some of the risks associated with money purchase and we can see it works in Holland. CDC is a good thing and I hope it progresses in 2013. Steve Webb appears to be embracing the idea and I hope he takes it on board.”