Play up Primark!

PompeyWhat is the connection between Britain’s favourite clothing retailer and the South Coast’s worst managed football club?

Step forward Colin Hately, folically challenged supremo of the AB Foods (owner of Primark) pension schemes and Pompey till he dies!

Colin looks  the sort of chap you wouldn’t want to run into if your team had just won away at Fratton Park, a bull of a man with a leery smile that reminds me of a velociraptor.

He is however just about the brightest man in pension (note this comment is gender specific).

Why do I bring him to your attention? Well, he’s made a difference to the 1500 employees enrolled into the AB foods plan in February and he’s making a difference for the Primark staff who start enrolling this month,

What’s he done? He’s established an excellent auto-enrolment workplace pension which uses the Alliance Bernstein Target Dated Funds and has been implemented with the help of the excellent Shilling Communications. This scheme offers staff an investment account tailored to their particular age and retirement ambitions which benefits from the wisdom of the good folks at Alliance Bernstein – all for a quarter of a percent per year (including administration).

Colin knows a bit about running large DC plans for pension poor folk. I first met him when he was the rising star at Kingfisher, the retail group that at the time comprised Comet, B&Q and Woolworths (among others). Kingfisher ran an auto-enroled workplace pension plan invested in a with-profits plan. It was poorly funded, little understood and didn’t deliver great outcomes but it was easy to join, required little member engagement  and it had very low opt-outs.

Colin saw back in the early years of the last decade that inertia was driving his staff into the Retirement Trust but the Trust was not doing all it could to help his staff. With zeal and enthusiasm he set about changing and improving that scheme and he has never stopped fighting for the good of all the employees whose retirement he can (positively affect).

Colin understood that a company’s responsibilities to its staff to offer a proper workplace plan increase with high take-up; high take-up increases corporate risk when it leads to general disappointment.

Like the KRT, the ABF workplace pension has low opt-outs, reported at 3% by Ian Smith of Pensions Week; in my view the ABF is worth the weight of money the company and its staff will throw its way. Which is more than can be said for some of the Portsmouth staff who have failed to deliver for their loyal fans

I have hope even for Portsmouth. They looked down and out when Yeovil visited them just after Christmas. Since then, we’ve gone up and they’ve gone down and we’re now in the ridiculous position of having the South Coasts best supported club struggling for Football League survival.

Now the fans seem to have got some control of the club back and hopefully they can rebuild the stronger over the years to come.

Perhaps they should put Colin in charge.

Behind the away stand-Fratton Park

Behind the away stand-Fratton Park


About henry tapper

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