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The Board of the Pensions Archive Trust (PAT) has agreed to work in partnership with London Metropolitan Archives (LMA), to maintain a centre of excellence for the study of archival material relating to occupational and personal pensions.

Together, our vision is, by means of a pensions archive, to ensure the permanent preservation of material documenting the history, management and development of occupational pensions in the United Kingdom for the use and benefit of present and future generations.

Origins and introduction

​Pensions Archive Trust

Following discussions by a group of concerned pensions’ professionals that began in late 2002, PAT was constituted in August 2005 as a registered company, limited by guarantee. In 2006 a partnership was agreed with LMA and a decision made to employ a project archivist, based at LMA. A joint liaison committee representing both PAT and LMA was also established to discuss and plan programmes for the Pensions Archive and set and monitor the work of the archivist or (from 2013) intern. From April 2007, the trust began acquiring archival collections at LMA. The Pensions Archive was formally launched in February 2008. From February 2008, the trust has been granted charitable status under registered number 1122633.

For more details visit PAT’s website.

London Metropolitan Archives

The Greater London Record Office was formed in 1965, when the Greater London Council was set up, by uniting the record offices of the London County Council and the Middlesex County Council. Its Library was formerly a reference library for members of the London County Council. The Common Council of the City of London Corporation assumed responsibility for the service on 1 April 1986, upon the abolition of the Greater London Council, and the service changed its name to London Metropolitan Archives in 1995. It merged with the Corporation of London Records Office in 2003.

Guildhall Library Manuscripts

Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section began as a collection of individual manuscripts and small collections of City of London interest in 1828 when Guildhall Library was refounded. Since 1945 it has acted as the local record office for the City of London, the “square mile”, excluding the records of the City of London Corporation.

The two record offices were amalgamated in 2007 and, under the name London Metropolitan Archives, offer a professional and courteous service to depositors, donors and all enquirers. We seek to maintain contact with all our stakeholders and involve them in the development of our service.

The Pensions Archive Trust Collections Policy exists in tandem with our overall collections policy and our access and interpretation, and preservation and conservation policies, also freely available.


  1. ​To receive by gift, deposit or purchase collections of original records (in all formats including electronic records), relating to the history, management and development of occupational and personal pensions in the United Kingdom.
  2. To maintain a select specialist library relating to the history, management and development of occupational and personal pensions in the United Kingdom.
  3. To catalogue and store all the pensions collections in our care to the relevant national and international standards, and to make them available in our modern reading rooms in original or surrogate form for the benefit of everyone.
  4. To present the collections through a comprehensive electronic catalogue, and to make selected sources available in digital format.
  5. To develop the service for users around the pensions collections at LMA including an interpretation service for people of all ages and interests, incorporating a schools programme; talks, tours and lectures to interested groups; exhibitions and displays at LMA and elsewhere; the compilation, editing and publishing, in hard copy or electronically, of catalogues of collections, information leaflets, and guides to holdings and to the use of the pensions collections.
  6. To acquire knowledge of sources, particularly original records, relating to pensions throughout the United Kingdom and make this available to users, and to work with other institutions, especially record repositories, holding pensions archives to promote and develop the study of the history of the development of occupational and personal pensions.


Collecting policy: archives

  1. ​To acquire by gift, deposit or purchase original records relating to the history, management and development of occupational and personal pensions in the United Kingdom, particularly those of:
    • Non-governmental organisations connected with pensions management, oversight, development and advice;
    • Individual pension schemes;
    • Key people involved in pensions management or research;
    • Pensions’ conferences and events.
  2. To acquire by gift, deposit or purchase audio visual materials including film, video and audio in analogue and digital formats, relating to pensions.
  3. To only acquire copies and transcripts where the originals are not available; artefacts are not usually acquired. Both categories are only acquired if the copies or objects further our aims.
  4. To evaluate and select material worthy of permanent preservation, in agreement with owners and depositors, and PAT. Rejected material will be returned, or destroyed in a confidential manner, as the donor or depositor prefers.
  5. To only acquire material less than ten years old if it is at risk and worthy of permanent preservation. Otherwise the acquisition of such material is discouraged for reasons of confidentiality and access. If depositors request a closure period on their records, we need an ongoing high-level contact to consider users’ applications to view such records.
  6. We do not usually acquire material which will remain closed for a significant period of time unless it is immediately at risk and worthy of permanent preservation. Such material is typically bulky and often semi-current. For reasons of confidentiality and access, it is recommended that depositors retain such material until the closure period has expired. At this point, we shall evaluate and select material worthy of permanent preservation.
  7. We will not take in records which would be more appropriately held elsewhere (for example, records of local authority pensions schemes should be held in the appropriate local record office). Records of pensions schemes should not be kept separately from those of their parent organisation where an appropriate record repository already exists (for example, records of the Royal Mail Pensions Scheme are held in the British Postal Museum and Archive; records of Lloyd’s Superannuation Fund are held with the records of Lloyd’s of London in Guildhall Library). When necessary, we shall transfer records to a more appropriate record repository, or advise the depositor accordingly.

Collecting policy: printed material

  1. ​Pensions-related printed material is offered to the PAT or acquired directly from organisations (such as National Association of Pension Funds) or individuals, or is found within archival collections. We also receive some pensions’ magazines on a regular basis either from publishers, or passed on by the City Business Library (CBL).
  2. Printed material usually relates to one or more of the following themes:
    • Pensions industry research/researchers (including analyses, reports, statistics)
    • Individual schemes
    • Pensions advice
    • Social history research/researchers
  3. We do collect:
    • Key reference material (i.e. you cannot make sense of the archives without it)
    • Designated pensions magazines/serial publications
    • Main publications of important organisations
    • Statistics/analyses/reports of significance
    • Schemes literature
    • History of pension provision
    • Social history directly relevant to pension provision
  4. We do not collect:
    • Duplicates of material already in the LMA library or in other City of London libraries (particularly City Business Library (CBL)/Guildhall Library)
    • Duplicates of material in other publically accessible libraries in London (in particular the London School of Economics and the British Library, the latter being especially strong for government publications)
    • International material
    • Her Majesty's Stationery Office (HMSO) and other government publications
    • Copies/transcripts unless the originals are not available elsewhere

All of the above are overridden by the need to keep 'key reference material'.

Deposit agreements

​Archives and printed material acquired by PAT to form part of the Pensions Archive and Library are deposited by PAT with LMA. For each deposit, a signed agreement between PAT and LMA is entered into. A copy of this agreement is kept on the relevant accessions file.

PAT makes its own agreements directly with the original donors/depositors and LMA does not see these or keep a copy.


​Please complete a comment form at LMA or email us at LMA Enquiries if you wish to give feedback on this policy.

This policy will be reviewed at least every two years to make sure it remains timely and relevant.