Pensions DIY

diy pensions

DIY died. It died the day people worked out they weren’t DIY enthusiasts but interior designers who changed rooms.

This shift from money saving to profile raising is purely cosmetic. People still load their trolleys at B & Q and lug 6 by 4 through the Homebase door. Given half a chance , most of us are game to assemble flat pack units , steam clean  carpets and in suitable numbers change light bulbs.

But ask most of us to replace a fireplace or knock a hole in the bathroom wall and we will wonder about stress-loading and summon up images of Frank Crawford, standing in a dust cloud, the ceiling on his head.

We know our limits and though we may worry about our jobbing builders, we’d rather blame them when things go wrong than blame ourselves.

The behavioural learning (as behaviouralists would say) is that so long as we can follow instructions, so good. But when we need to take decisions based on risks we neither understand or even recognise – we pay a premium and contract the work out.

Which is fine so long as there’s a counterparty prepared to take the risk. But what if there are no people there to tell you what to do  or do it for you? What if you have to rely on the instruction book? What if there is no instruction book?

This is a scenario that could very well face the hundreds of thousands of companies needing to stage auto-enrolment in 2014-15.

What can be done?

Much can be done.

There are three things that you need to do it yourself

  1. you need the confidence to find out- the internet is giving us this confidence
  2. you need the toolkit and the materials
  3. you need the instructions on how to do the job.

There is one thing more that is needed, you need an expert to sign off on the job. You do not want the “man from planning” telling you your structure is unsafe, or unsightly or simply not following the regulations. You want at most an architect, at best a project manager who can make sure that your project is legal and safe.

In pensions terms, we have tools (modellers and the like) and materials, payroll,middleware and pensions.

We have the instruction books issued by the Regulator.

What we don’t have is the confidence to use the tools and shape the materials into a coherent and compliant staging event or an ongoing auto-enrolment process.

We don’t have the confidence but that is because we are not organised.

Right now, Father Christmas and his elves have been called on to help out and over the Christmas period they will be devoting some of their time to building kit that will help us all to have

a very prosperous and happy new year!

About henry tapper

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