Stevie Webb got about as passionate as a politician can get about pensions on Thursday evening. In front of the usual gang of suits he dished the dirt on the Alliance Boots Pension Increase Exchange offer which offers members only 60p in the £1 of their pensions true value in return for a bit of advice and some “sexy cash“.
Unfortunately for Steve , Alan Higham had seen him coming; Alan’s been even more passionate since discovering the DWP are offering sexy cash inducements themselves and they are even meaner than Alliance Boots, offering 30p in the £1.
Is Stevie boy an hypocrite? Technically yes, he’s the boss at the DWP and his people are doing the mis-selling so he is been properly caught with his pants down .
Being a woolly Liberal myself , I’ll say this for the boy Steve. “He is a genuine good guy”. No-one would have spent as long championing lost causes as Steve has and not be a true believer. Steve’s problem is that he is – in his own words – an optimist. That seems like a triumph of hope against political reality.
No matter how blameless Stevie may be, he’s only as good as his team. He protests that the DWP and the Treasury are the best of mates; the malpractice exposed like Alan Higham smacks of the DWP getting a little too close to the “dark side”.
When he gets to read what Alan Higham has written (and Alan is spot on in his analysis) then he’s got two choices.
- He can invite Alan round to DWP towers and get the bunch of actuaries behind the DWP cash for pension rip-off to explain themselves – actuary to actuary
- He can try to sweep the abuse under the table
Alan Higham’s potentially Stevie’s best mate, a brilliant man, a consumer champ and one of Britain’s best actuaries:-
let’s see which choice he takes.
To read Alan’s argument – press this link.
- MANCHESTER – (that’s where the answers are) – NAPF2011 (henrytapper.com)
- Mrs Higham’s letter (henrytapper.com)
- Extending a hand to the Regulator (henrytapper.com)
- IFEs not IFAs (henrytapper.com)
- The right to screw up your pension (henrytapper.com)
- Alliance Boots ‘could be open to pension mis-selling claims’ (telegraph.co.uk)
- Small businesses wanting to avoid small pensions (henrytapper.com)
- NEST LIVE “Their hands in our pockets” (henrytapper.com)
- The ACA have spoken – the DWP ought to listen (henrytapper.com)
- A pound spent on pension’s as good as salary – the new golden rule (henrytapper.com)
- Boots under fire for ‘risky’ pension deal (independent.co.uk)
- Alliance Boots executive chairman Stefano Pessina warns of business gloom for three years (telegraph.co.uk)
- Boots pursues pension changes despite regulator’s misgivings (independent.co.uk)
- Axa asks staff to give up index link pensions (telegraph.co.uk)
- Pension Shock..The Future is now (irishfinancialadviser.wordpress.com)
- Pensions and public finances: perils of long-termism (guardian.co.uk)
- The workplace pension changes that affect you (confused.com)
- Anemic Pension Funds Still Hemorrhaging (theatlantic.com)