The 18th January 2013 marked the 90th anniversary of the first meeting of the Association of Superannuation Funds at Electric Broadway House in Westminster. The Association's minute book, which is held in the National Association of Pension Funds' collection at the Pensions Archive, allows us to see what was discussed at this initial meeting, and some of the concerns that led the Association to be established.
The Association’s constitution and rules, approved at the meeting, set out the Association's intention to act as a forum for members to discuss questions affecting superannuation and pension funds, including legislative changes affecting pension funds, and exchange relevant information between members.
The Conference of Superannuation Funds had primarily worked to obtain exemptions for pension and superannuation funds from paying income tax on their income from interest and dividends, in which they were ultimately successful, with exemptions being granted in the 1921 Finance Act. The Conference also acted as a means of exchanging information and advice on the formation and working of funds, and liaising collectively with government departments.
At the meeting members of the Association elected 10 of their members to form a Council, who met immediately after the meeting closed. The Council discussed planned legislation that would affect widows’ and orphans’ pension funds.
The Association of Pension Funds changed its name to the National Association of Pension Funds in 1967, and the NAPF continues to act as representative body for the occupational pensions industry and provide training and information services for its members.
Material from The Pensions Management Institute, recently deposited in the Pensions Archive, has now been catalogued and is accessible to researchers. The records include minutes of the Institute's Council and committees, as well as the Institute's responses to Government consultative papers between 1996 and 2010. The archive includes a set of papers on the Institute's Model Administration Agreement, which was launched in 2002, and a photographic archive, as well as digital records relating to the member services and training programmes offered by the Institute. There is also a paper on the history of the Institute.
Established originally as the Institute of Pensions Administration in 1975, the Institute was sponsored by four representative bodies for the pensions industry, namely the NAPF, the Society of Pension Consultants, the Life Offices' Association and the Association of Consulting Actuaries and formally launched as The Pensions Management Institute Limited in June 1976. Now based at Artillery Lane in the City of London, the Institute sets and promotes standards of excellence and lifelong learning for pension professionals and trustees through qualifications, membership and support services. The Institute also runs two Conferences, two Trustee Seminars and a range of other technical seminars each year. It produces a number of publications, including PMI News, PMI Technical News and, in conjunction with the Pensions Research Accountants Group, the Pensions Terminology guide, which is currently in its eighth edition.
2013 marks the 150th anniversary of the London Underground. The Metropolitan Railway Company was first established in 1852/3 as the Bayswater, Paddington and Holborn Bridge Company. Between 1860 and 1863 the company constructed the first section of the London Underground, between Paddington and Farringdon, with the first passengers travelling on the Metropolitan line in January 1863.
The archives of the Metropolitan Railway Company are held at London Metropolitan Archives, and they contain a number of records relating to the company’s pension schemes which have been covered in PAT’s Research Guide Project.
The Metropolitan Railway Company had joined the Railway Clearing System Superannuation Fund in 1893, but this was only open to its salaried staff. In 1903 staff made proposals to the company’s General Manager A.C. Ellis for the establishment of a pension fund for uniformed and waged staff. A Pension Fund Committee was formed, with John Biggs, Under Guard at Aldgate station, acting as the committee’s Honorary Secretary.
The proposals were passed to the company’s directors, and were investigated by one of the directors, Sir William Birt. At a staff meeting in 1906 Ellis announced that this proposal would be put to the shareholders if there was sufficient support from the men. Sufficient support was found and the Act of Parliament necessary to authorise the Company to establish and regulate a pension scheme was sought. The Metropolitan Railway (Pension Fund) Act was duly passed in 1907 and the scheme established.
The archive collection for the fund includes papers relating to the establishment of the fund, forms of application for membership, copies of rules booklets for the fund, and the General Manager's files on the fund, which include copies of the fund's accounts. The material covers 1903–1933 and can be viewed at London Metropolitan Archives (reference numbers ACC/1297/MET/10/113 - ACC/1297/MET/10/117).
More information about railway company pensions can be found on the Pensions Archive Trust's website. London Metropolitan Archives has also published a fascinating selection of images from its collections on Historypin to mark the 150th anniversary of the Underground.
The Pensions Archive Trust had a stand at the OPDU Annual Meeting on the 29th January, hosted by Reed Smith at Broadgate Tower. Attendees listened to key note speeches from Mark Hyde Harrison, chairman of the National Association of Pension Funds, and Michael O'Higgins, Chair of The Pensions Regulator, as well as a review from the Chairman of the OPDU Advisory Council, Peter Murray.
The work of PAT was highlighted by OPDU's Executive Director, Jonathan Bull, as he welcomed attendees to the meeting. PAT also had material on display at the ACE/OPDU Risk Conference held at Centre Point on 26 February. PAT is grateful to OPDU for allowing them to attend both events.
This newsletter has been sent by London Metropolitan Archives on behalf of the Pensions Archive Trust.