UK – The new chairman of the National Association of Pension Funds has said that in the future the association could turn into a federation including different interest groups like defined benefit schemes.

Robin Ellison, who took over from Terry Faulkner outlined the NAPF’s future at its annual conference in Manchester last week.

“I am not sure we are structured to give members the right services,” Ellison said. “I don’t think we are broad enough.” He told IPE that the NAPF could open to other stakeholders.

“We may have separate interest groups: small schemes, big schemes, defined contribution schemes,” he said, adding that any innovation would first be considered by members.

Ellison, also commented on the impact the launch of the new Pensions Regulator. He said the NAPF will tackle the changes brought by new legislation and suggested the setting up of a “kind of protection society” to balance the new regulator’s powers.

“This is not an attack on the regulator,” he said. “We need to explore whether we have the products and services to meet the demands of people who are now regulated. We have never been regulated.”

Ellison, who is a partner at law firm Pinsent Masons, warned against over-regulation in the UK pension industry.

He pointed out that with the new European directive on occupational pensions, which is to come in force in September, multinational employers could chose not to stay in the UK, because “ it is too complicated, too expensive, too constraining”.

“At the moment employers and workers are making pension decisions on the base of the regulatory framework, rather than what they want or need or can afford and that’s wrong.”