The Pensions Management Institute (PMI)

1st August 2023

The Pensions Management Institute (PMI) is a professional body for pensions professionals in the UK. PMI was founded in 1976 and has around 7,500 members who come from a range of different backgrounds and work in a variety of roles related to pensions, including trustees, administrators, consultants, and investment managers.

The PMI provides education, training, and professional development opportunities for its members, and aims to promote high standards of professionalism and ethical behaviour within the pensions industry. It also conducts research and provides thought leadership on pensions-related issues, and engages with policymakers and regulators to help shape the future of the industry. 

Overall, the PMI plays an important role in promoting good governance and best practice within the UK pensions industry, and supports the ongoing development of its members’ skills and knowledge.

PMI qualifications are highly regarded by industry employers and play a vital role for new entrants to develop their careers. The range of qualifications is extensive, and covers vocational qualifications for those commencing a career in administration to the only specialist qualifications in the UK open to scheme trustees. Since the Institute’s inception, its flagship qualification has been the degree-level Advanced Diploma in Retirement Provision (ADRP), whose syllabus is relevant to all senior management roles within pensions. PMI qualifications, regardless of their level, are regarded as being extremely prestigious within the industry.

There are four separate grades of PMI membership, which reflect an individual’s experience and seniority within the industry.  All learners will start their journey with the PMI as a Student member. Successful completion of a full qualification gives them eligibility for Professional membership status. A learner can then progress to Associateship after completing all exams listed under the pathway (see below) and holding Professional Membership for two full years. After five years of continuous Associate Membership with complete Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and demonstrable experience, Associates can then apply to become a Fellow.

The PMI seeks to provide formal recognition to all pensions professionals regardless of their chosen career stream. A recent innovation is the development of Pensions Pathways, which offers new entrants to the industry five separate  routes towards PMI’s senior membership grades. There are a combination of full qualifications and some of the core units from the Advanced Diploma in Retirement Provision, representing five specialisations: 
  • Retirement Provision
  • Pensions Administration (Technical) 
  • Pensions Administration (Practical)
  • Pensions Trusteeship
  • Pensions Benefits

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
Like other comparable professional bodies, PMI requires its senior members to complete annual CPD. This is to ensure that members with responsible roles remain familiar with new developments within the industry. Associates and Fellows are required to complete an annual total of at least 25 hours’ CPD. This consists of various forms of high-level professional education that is relevant to their role. Accredited trustees have their own separate CPD requirements. 

A career in pensions is a demanding but rewarding career. For those who choose to take that step, there can be no better partner than PMI: the Institute for all pensions professionals.

Find out more about the qualifications offered by PMI by reading the ‘Qualifications and Training’ article. 

About the Author

Tim Middleton
Director of Policy & External Affairs

Tim Middleton has worked in the pensions industry since 1987. His roles have covered consultancy with Bacon & Woodrow (now Aon), Mercer and Barnett Waddingham. 

He is currently Director of Policy and External Affairs for the Pensions Management Institute (PMI), where he works extensively on the Policy and Public Affairs Committee and provides input into PMI’s education and events programmes. 

He also writes frequently for the pensions press. He is a Fellow of the PMI and holds the CII’s Diploma in Financial Planning. He is a past chairman of the PMI’s London Group.

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