Paul Reynolds, director of public affairs, outlines a very busy year for his team
The IFoA's public affairs team is here to help members to disseminate information through the right channels. This information includes research and consultation responses, with channels including media and stakeholder engagement. In the last few months of 2013 we have been very busy on your behalf.
Hopefully, you are aware of the IFoA's engagement in the pre-Scottish independence referendum debate. Driven by members, the IFoA published a paper in October looking at the key challenges facing financial services if Scotland were to become independent. The IFoA has no political bias in this debate, but by identifying issues is seeking to inform the public debate.
From a stakeholder perspective, the paper was warmly received by both the Yes and No campaigns and also by the media; generating a significant level of national and regional coverage. If you would like to know more about the engagement work being undertaken, please visit: tinyurl.com/oq832ra
The public affairs team has helped to coordinate more than 21 consultation responses since the start of September, including; the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) exposure draft for insurance contracts; the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority's (EIOPA) consultation on holistic balance sheets (sponsor support technical specifications), the Department for Work and Pensions' (DWP) consultation on defined ambition and the Department of Health's paper Caring for our Future: Reforming What and How People Pay for their Care and Support. The input of the practice Boards and working parties in providing these responses is invaluable, with the pensions practice board and working parties having had a particularly busy year.
We also help to disseminate research through the right channels. In November, the Third Party Working Party's (TPWP) updated analysis on third party injury and damage data for motor insurance was released to the media, with requests for more information and meetings from a number of public bodies following the coverage. You may have also noticed that the IFoA has sponsored three significant pieces of external research since September. The Finance and Investment Board sponsored research looking into the use of real estate investment in auto-enrolment defined contribution schemes: Returning to the Core: Rediscovering a Role for Real Estate in Defined Contribution Pension Schemes. The Pensions Board sponsored research by the Pensions Policy Institute (PPI) looking at pensions tax relief in the UK and also research from the PPI looking at what saving at the auto-enrolment minimum levels could mean for later life income. The IFoA provided comment on all of these items - if you would like to know more, please visit: tinyurl.com/p4vldqc
Lastly, the IFoA does comment on important issues as and when they arise, where member interest is aligned. Clearly, it has been a busy year and, as such, the IFoA has issued a number of comments, including, in the past three months, on the Office of Fair Trading report into workplace pension schemes, new regulations by the Financial Reporting Council for listed company accounting and, of course, on the defined ambition consultations.
We do not email members every time we issue a statement, but we do ensure that these statements can be found in the news section of our website and in your newsletters so that you are up to date with the views expressed by your professional body.
If you ever have any questions for the public affairs team, please do contact us at: [email protected]