The National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) and the Pensions Management Institute (PMI) have announced the two organisations are exploring the possibility of a merger.

The NAPF is a representative group for pension schemes, while the PMI is an accreditation and standards body for the pensions management and consultancy industry.

The pair said discussions over a merger were initiated after a raft of changes in the UK legislation on pensions.

PMI chairman Paul Couchman said the pooling of resources and knowledge of the two organisations made sense.

“An organisation combining our complementary areas of expertise would provide all our members with access to a single organisation that could offer comprehensive training and qualifications while effectively representing their interests to government and regulators,” Counchman said.

Ruston Smith, chairman at the NAPF, said the merged entity could provide a stronger voice and better education for the industry.

The pair will now spend 6-9 months assessing the details of any potential merger but will operate separately until a final decision has been made.

In other news, Newton Investment Management and the University of Cambridge have agreed a five-year partnership allowing the university to expand its research into long-horizon investing.

The partnership will lead to the rebranding of the university’s Centre for Endowment Asset Management to include Newton’s sponsorship at the start.

It will continue to produce its annual three-day forum on the topic and publish academic and practitioner journals.

The centre’s chairman, professor Elroy Dimson, said: “The partnership with Newton will reinforce Cambridge University’s ongoing collaboration with practitioners, academics and organisations that take a long-term view of investment.”

Helena Morrissey, chief executive at Newton, added: “We share the Centre’s commitment to helping long-horizon investors make appropriate investment decisions.

“We look forward to collaborating and furthering the understanding of investment decisions and their impact on institutional returns.”

Finally, State Street Global Advisors’ (SSgA) latest research into the attitudes and plans of defined contribution (DC) savers highlighted further uncertainty around set retirement ages.

This comes as the company makes amendments to its range of target date funds in the wake of the changes to DC legislation announced in the UK Budget.

The research revealed only 25% of 1,034 respondents know when they will retire.

In response, SSgA head of DC in the UK, Nigel Aston, said its target date offering, Timewise, was originally designed to provide 25% cash free at retirement and an annuity purchase.

However, it now addresses new legislation by adding drawdown flexibility, he said.