Do we need guarantees on the pensions we get? Pension Play Pen lunch – Feb 6th

Was grumpy and had a smelly foot

There was a peculiar diversity of participants in this month’s pension lunch which led to an extraordinary debate and the closest of votes. Our lunch group split into three groups

1. Those who followed a broadly paternalistic line (Stav, Bill,Mike and Chris) for whom guarantees on our pensions were essential both in keeping pensions simple and popular and in protecting the tax-payer from the moral hazard caused by a less prudent approach

2. Those who saw these guarantees impeding pensions through their inefficiencies and over-prescription.

3. Peter Weiner

Lest anyone think I am unfair in isolating Peter, let me declare him the true hero of the debate. Peter is our Philoctetes, the Greek hero exiled to Chryse for his grumpy nature (ann smelly feet). Peter does not have smelly feet but like Philoctetes he is grumpy and he is heroic in calling us to account in our wild fits of PlayPen ic enthusiasm. No one has attended more lunches or is more welcome than the caustic and splenetic “bearded wonder”. The lunch was also notable for its long-tail of latecomers, all of whom were welcome. In particular Messrs O’ Dwyer, fresh from milking his her in the Glanbia dairy and O’Donovan ( out token lawyer). Our compliment was adorned by Miss Lindsey Bass (sadly not a guitarist  – Jackal) who spoke eloquently as a non-pension person , please come back for more!

Other first -timers were Mr Peter Shellswell, known to many in the room for daring to go where no actuaries have been before- the IFA’s friend, a champion of individual choice and the inventor of Popcorn Pensions as chronicled elsewhere on this blog.Joining Peter was Mr Chris Trebilcock, our anitpodean platform guru from Investment Solutions whose contributions were pithy and admirably concise.

The backbone of these lunches, other than Philoctetes is formed by the likes of Simone Utermack (how will S &P rate Scotland?) , Michael Clark  (the acceptable face  of Capita), Bill Whitehead (teh acceptable face of Banking)  and two we have missed in recent weeks but welcome back with open arms, Stav O’Doherty (well ahead in the Eurodebt bingo stakes) and the estimable Simon Leyland of LEBC. Throw into the mix the imperturbable David Taylor (not Thompson) and the vocal vocalist Simon (the Jackal) Kew and you have as fine a lunch party as the City could stage.

The next Pension Play Pen Lunch ~(London chapter) will be on March 5th. This being a week before the Cheltenham Festival, we will be concentrating on high alpha investment strategies of the equine variety.

For the record, the motion that guarantees in retirement cause more good than bad was carried by six votes to five with three abstentions .

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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