Mischievously, Steve Bee has deemed 32 contributors to his website “pension superheroes“. As they number some of us, I won’t call this totally inappropriate; but it adds piffle to his claim to taking the piffle out of pensions!
At least it got me thinking on what a pensions superhero really is.
I spent last night with two of my pension superheroes. One, Hilary Salt, is a Founder of First Actuarial and known to many reading this. The other, Bill Day is an ex fund manager,ex Nicaraguan freedom fighter and ex GMB pensions supremo.
We talked of old friends, Sue Ward, Bryn Davies and the late John Shuttleworth. I thought of others; the sadly diminished John Quarrell, the evergreen Alan Pickering and , though I have only heard speak of him, Frank Redington.
Listing these names make it easier for me to understand the qualities they have or had in common.
- They knew their mind, spoke their mind and practiced what they preached – with compassion and precision.
- They tolerated and encouraged those with different opinions and lesser abilities.
- They listened to people. absorbed the undercurrents of groups and reached out to find new and diverse experiences.
It’s curious but these attributes are like what my friend Dave Hunter reckons you need, to have wisdom from a crowd . Perhaps our conversations have affected me more than I thought!
Perhaps, thinking about it, the pension superhero embodies the wisdom of the crowd and is essential to it. Maybe the pension superhero’s gift is to inspire those around so that some of their superhero rubs off.
We’ve all got our own superheroes and if you think you are one of them, you probably aren’t!
We are going through a rocky patch as a nation as we pay the price for some folly earlier in the Century and we can console ourselves with the words of a literary hero of mine…