A quick explanation
PADA are the people who are setting up a Government backed pension scheme called Personal Accounts and if you employed and not in a pension then you’ll have to apply not to be in it!
Their pension scheme will cost you, it will be another deduction on your payslip and an unpopular one unless PADA gets it right.
Mind you. you’d have to be pretty set against that kind of saving to opt out of it as you’ll get a healthy dollop of free money from your employer and from the Government – so long as you pay your bit.
You’ll build up savings at a rate of 8% of your earnings (give or take) which will build to a tidy sum over time especially as the Government’s making sure your savings aren’t eroded by high charges or violent hiccups in stock markets.
So what’s this got to do with Facebook or Twitter or whatever?
One of the things that’s amazing about these new media is that they are used by so many people who are not interested in pensions and consequently prime targets for PADA and personal accounts.
A third of young people regularly access Facebook and Twitter via their mobile, a new report has found.
The study, published by mobile research firm CCS Insight, found that access to social networking sites was driving the take-up of mobile internet services.
Now I’m no marketing genius but if I was in charge of PADA’s communication program, I’d want to make sure that I could get an RSS Feed to as many of those Facebook accounts as ever I could and I’d want it to quote each member the value of their account as it built up.
I’d be wanting people on the bus on the way home to be checking their balances, people to moan when their balances fell (and get smug when they rose).
I’d want people to be asking what all this cash will do when they start drawing it, whether it affects their other pensions and all the kinds of questions that “pension experts” argue about.
Unless these Personal Accounts are in people’s faces, they will just become another tax – like national insurance .
But that’s not how it has to be
People may not be able to blow their pension account for many years but seeing a positive balance popping up from time to time on your web page ought to be comforting at least, interesting perhaps , maybe even something that needs managing.
If Facebook was a country it would be the fourth most populated in the world, if it keeps growing like it is now, it will be the defining media for personal communication over the next ten years.
Even in Facebook is overtaken by Twitter or something we haven’t heard of yet, people will continue to expect and get real time information via feeds from electronic hubs like the Personal Accounts database.
It’s not beyond PADA and their administrators to get feeds to Facebook. For that matter, it’s not beyond the people who administer today’s personal pensions- or company pensions.
I don’t want to see Facebook or Twitter become bunged up with stats and looking like the front page of the Financial Times but I think there’s a place for an occasional message – provided the security’s in place and there’s agreement on all sides.
There will have to be a means to advertise the link which will involve some interesting discussion between the UK Government and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook Founder) but where there’s a will…