Collectively, I think the many competing elements of the pension industry makes an overall, positive difference.
Looking back on my decades in the business, my colleagues and I have guided trustees and sponsoring employers to make decisions which have provided retirement income for many tens of thousands of employees over that time and beyond.
I’ve also seen its internal machinations from the perspective of an expert witness when personal and corporate disputes over pensions are subject to legal argument (although most are resolved before they reach court).
Pensions are inherently significant and complex, watched over by regulator and government alike, and rarely is there an aspect which doesn’t affect people’s lives in some way. All too often, we see negative headlines and are reminded of the challenges.
But I’m here to make the case for our sector’s beneficial impact, the reality of dedicated professionals diligently working towards the best possible outcomes for their clients.
Evidence of this comes in the form of a campaign created by colleagues spotting an opportunity to help solve a perennial issue.
Johanna Nelson-Vanner, who wrote a guest post here last month, and Alan Morahan have founded and launched National Pension Tracing Day, the idea being that you use the extra hour when the clocks go back on October 31st to get started on tracking down savings you may have forgotten about.
The industry already spends time – and money – attempting to link pension pots with their owners who have often lost contact with them often through moving house, job, or changing name. It adds up to an estimated £19.4bn.
Our campaign has already successfully built broad support across what is usually a partisan market because it’s a further nudge forward in a generally accepted, worthwhile cause.
For those who don’t know, there’s already a Pension Awareness Day and an awareness week to lodge the idea of pensions more generally – and attractively - in people’s minds but our take is more specific and straightforward.
Actually tracing a pension is relatively simple and by following the steps laid out on the website, you could find yourself with more savings than you thought for relatively little effort and no cost. There’s already plenty of advice out there but we just want to steer people in the right direction.
Our size means we can be nimble and our independence gives us creative latitude and the result is something swiftly brought into being which will support the overall effort to reunite people with money to which they may have given scant thought.
It might be you’ve already heard about the campaign and that’s as it should be – we want to spread the word far and wide and to do so, have fostered a coalition of voices.
So, thank you for listening to mine. With an estimated four in every 100 people forgetting to tell their pension company when their address, employer or surname changes, please do add your support by forwarding, posting or telling friends, family and colleagues about National Pension Tracing Day.