UK - The Pensions Management Institute (PMI) and the London based International Employee Benefits Association (IEBA) have reported a hike in interest for take up of their international employee benefits diploma.

The associations say the demand is due to a growing need for more global benefits specialists.

“It is good to see growing interest and examination entries from outside the UK. Increasingly, multinational companies need employees and advisers who have a global understanding of benefit provision. The diploma meets staff development need in this area,” says Alastair Hunter, chairman of IEBA.

The organisations are looking forward to further co-operation in the partial integration of their examinations: the international diploma, a joint initiative of the two was awarded for the first time in 1996. They also believe that this initiative will spark more international interest in the UK.

“The restructuring and incorporation of the first part of the diploma in the PMI Associateship examination will, I’m sure, encourage even more UK pensions professionals to broaden their knowledge and to go on to gain the diploma. The diploma also continues as a free-standing qualification available to employee benefits professionals in the UK and worldwide,” says David Bright, president of PMI.

The diploma on international employee benefits focuses on benefit structures in Australia, Chile, Japan, the USA, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain and the UK, including the EU influence on the last five.