We have a brace of fine headlines this week – Citywire report that Standard Life believe that ISAs should be part of the auto-enrolment mechanism and some SRI peddlar is reported on twitter extolling the need for auto-enrolment to include some seriously socially responsible investment. No doubt if Goldman Sachs had their way we would auto-enrol into their private banker’s fund to make good the shortfall in their expected bonuses following their dodgy loans to Greece going pear shape.
My old colleague Karl , who ran my old employer’s Government And Industry Affairs Department has a great phrase to justify the morally outlandish positions the ABI would regularly take-up on behalf of their members “Vested Self Interest”. I like Karl and believe him to have a soul but I can imagine that his big Swiss boss would regularly bark down the line “we don’t pay you to have a soul Mr Snowden”. So Karl had developed this smug grin (I suspect purchased from Peter Mandelson) and a little twinkle in his eye and a massive degree of front which is how he kept things going.
I’m treading dangerous waters here and I’m more a Micky Duncombe than a Jesus Christ so I won’t push it. (Mick once mistook the infinity pool of a Nice hotel for an extension of the precinct). Let’s leave it by stating that conscience has not made cowards of financial spin-doctors.
Auto-enrolment or inertia selling is a dirty bomb waiting to go off. If every snake oil salesman in town reckons he wants a peice of the action then you can guess that someone’s leaving the key to the bombstore in the lock.
I do not trust Governments full stop but Government’s facing major cashflow squeezes are particularly untrustworthy. Recidivism is in the air and unless Steve Webb holds the thin blue line, the Auto-Enrolment reforms will go the way of the Stakeholder Reforms and we’ll end up with the equivalent of the “sanctified 150bp AMC only this time it will be the ISA and SRI boys noses in the trough.
Stick to your guns Stevie boy, make the best of the poor deck of cards you’ve been dealt. Trust in no-one but your own instinct and people like me and the many many people who want a proper funded pension system in Britain – will follow.
Not just from vested self interest either.
- NEST LIVE “Their hands in our pockets” (henrytapper.com)
- Auto-enrolment may create 6m savers (mirror.co.uk)
- Auto-enrolment pension scheme could create 6m savers (independent.co.uk)
- Nats to introduce auto enrolment for KiwiSaver (homepaddock.wordpress.com)
- The ACA have spoken – the DWP ought to listen (henrytapper.com)
- Small businesses wanting to avoid small pensions (henrytapper.com)
- Top ten auto-enrolment tips for a smooth implementation (ipbpayroll.wordpress.com)
- New govt pension scheme could be risky for savers (confused.com)
- Warning on agency worker auto-enrolment (ipbpayroll.wordpress.com)
- Nest is coming: Get ready now (bbc.co.uk)