Decline in number of DB professionals slower than predicted five years ago, reveals PMI research

13th April 2016

According to new research from The Pensions Management Institute (PMI), the number of individuals working in defined benefit (DB) focused roles has fallen by only 4% to 37% over the past five years, significantly less than predicted by members when surveyed in 2010. This accords with the changes made to PMI’s Advanced Diploma in Retirement Provision which now has discrete DB and DC (defined contribution) streams. However, members still expect the decline to continue, albeit less dramatically.

These findings form part of research to be published by the PMI from its second Career Development Survey*. Conducted in November 2015, the PMI was able to capture a wide range of views from over 450 of its members on career development alongside wider issues within the retirement savings industry.

The survey also revealed that rather than a move to pure DC work (whether contract or trust based) most respondents believe the real growth will be in those working on a combination of DB and DC (up from 42% to 50% by 2018). This means broader skill sets will be required, with no reduction in the depth of knowledge employed.

Kevin LeGrand, PMI President said: “Our latest findings are a barometer for all to see how our industry is evolving, how it might look in the future and how the professionals who make up the pensions industry may be impacted. While the DB sector has seen an unsurprising amount of change over the past years, the resulting impact on people’s careers is not being felt as quickly as many might have predicted. In fact, what we are seeing is that their skill sets and knowledge are being highly utilised as the demand for people who combine both DB and DC experience grows.

He added “The findings from our first Career Development Survey were crucial in helping us evolve our own qualifications to meet the needs of the industry, such as including separate units for DB and DC in the Advanced Diploma in Retirement Provision, and introducing the Certificate in DC Governance. We will endeavour to use the findings from this latest survey to continue to help and support members with a range of services including a qualification for professional trustees and further development of online sources of Continuing Professional Development (CPD).”

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