The idea of establishing a Pensions Archive was first mooted by Alan Herbert (Chairman of the Trust) in 2001, after his attendance at a reception in Bristol to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Edis Partnerships Limited. This prompted him to reflect on the longer period over which pension provision had been developed and the need to capture the story for future generations in view of the changes taking place.
In 2002, after taking further soundings across a number of people in the pensions field with a view to progressing such a project, The Pensions Archive Trust Steering Committee was established, and the Trust itself was constituted as a registered company, limited by guarantee in 2005.
After making appeals for sponsorship for the project, and exploring the possibility of setting up an independent archive within facilities at City University, the decision was taken to approach an existing archive service, in order to save financial resources and make use of the knowledge and skills of an already established repository.
In August 2006, PAT entered into discussions with LMA as to the development of a partnership that would enable PAT to promote and develop the study of the history of occupational and personal pension provision in the UK, providing a central source of information for researchers and students, and providing access to current practices and standards that had been adopted in relation to the management and administration of occupational pension schemes.
Following a series of meetings, this partnership was agreed upon, along with the decision to employ an Archivist based at LMA. A Liaison Committee comprised of representatives of PAT and LMA was established to discuss and plan programmes for the Pensions Archive and to set and monitor the work of the Archivist.
From April 2007, the Trust began acquiring archival collections at LMA. A reception was held at Guildhall Art Gallery to formally launch the Pensions Archive in February 2008, in the same month that the Trust gained charitable status.