No learning without doing!


Pension people are obsessed with engaging the British people about the importance of pensions while the great British public was as little to do with pension plans as possible.

That will not change. What can change is that the great British public become properly “pensioned” by joining and staying in good quality pension plans. Plans that deliver good incomes and a healthy dollop of cash when it’s needed (when the money from work dries up).

While we welcome pension enthusiasts to our “geekernity”, we  secretly admit that we are glad we are a small and self-selecting community of saddoes. We should not be inflicting the complexity of the UK pension system on the Great British Public, our job is to manage the legacy – spend time in our garden shed and let people get on with their lives in peace.

Which may sound a little rich from the Pension Plowman with 850 pension blogs under his belt.

But the time has come for some action and over the next ten days, you will get it from me and my colleagues at

We’ve had enough of teaching and want to get people doing. At the moment, if you want to set up a pension scheme for your staff which provides good benefits to members rather than advisers, fund managers and insurance companies, you have to be determined.

NEST has one, NOW has one, there are lots of smaller mastertrusts like BlueSky which your employer can sign up to with relatively little ado. But I bet  you feel nervous about buying a house without looking at other properties in the neighbourhood. I bet you’d be worried about what your family said it you didn’t have a look at the other houses on sale.

What about the big insurers? The Legal and General‘s and Scottish Widows of this world. Can you do something with NEST without checking on the competitors?

And what about your existing workplace pension? If your company runs a plan , is it any good? What yardstick can you use it to compare it to the market and if you find out it’s sub-standard , and if you do find it lacking – what can you do about it.

We wouldn’t let a car out on the road each year without its MOT, but many pension schemes are into their second or third decade without their tyres getting a kicking; pensions people call it governance but you can call it a “pensions check up”.

At the moment you can learn as much as you like about what makes for good, but there’s not much you can do about it , short of employing someone like me to look into the situation and charge you quite a lot of money (I don’t come cheap).

But you may not have a lot of money and if you do, you’d rather be paying it into people’s pensions pot than lining my pockets.

So whether you are a first time buyer, you’re looking for a pension MOT or  you’re deciding your old plan is not up to it and  want a new one, it’s my job to find a way to help you.

And here’s the refreshing bit, I want to help, I can help but I don’t want your money.

The great thing about what is happening right now is that technology is setting you free. You don’t need to spend a fortune to end up in a good place. Even the pension minister has said it, the DWP wants you to set up your workplace pension scheme for nothing.

NOTHING that’s precisely how much it will cost you to get an excellent pension plan at less than half the cost of a stakeholder pension.

No fees, no commissions and no hidden costs.

How can this be done?

It can be done for nothing because a low-cost website can do a lot with a little advertising revenue. Because there are some things that employers want to pay for (auditing and certification of due process) and because over time, the information on people’s patterns of purchases builds a value in itself.

Martin Lewis has 86 million reasons to show that you can run a for-profit service with the trust of your public- you just have to be straight with people about what’s going on.



No learning without doing – and if it’s worth doing- it’s worth doing well!


About henry tapper

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