Andrew Young is the Pension Regulator’s Strategy Director, he is the go to guy in UK pensions if you want to understand the implications of Government Policy.
He has been a mentor to me since I first met him at the back of a bus making its way up to an Icelandic glacier in the late 90s.
Back then Andy was the Government Actuary to the DWP and he spent his time working out what worked where. That he found himself exploring pensions policy in Aya Napa or Reykjavik should not be treated as a coincidence. Andy is no ordinary actuary.
Last night, his wife Sara threw a surprise party at his daughter Victoria’s Front Room restaraunt in Seaford, East Sussex. Stella and I were privileged to join with in the celebrations.
We sometimes underestimate the difference that a few people can make on the way things work. Andy is one of those few people.
For the tens of thousands of people whose pensions are paid by the PPF, for the millions that will enjoy better state pensions from 2016 and hopefully for those of us who get better private pensions as a result of the Defined Ambition pension- we have Andy (at least in part) to thank.
He is an unerring optimist, someone who even when things are against him, can find something to cheer other people up. Often he has sent me an e-mail sharing his frustration with some failure of policy or aberrant behaviour among his many associates. But the mail never ends on a negative, there is always a perspective- usually a chance remark about one of his children (he is a prodigious begetter of children and a great Dad).
Now he has reached 65, he has deferred his state pension as any sensible person should – till April 2016 (it’s worth about 10.4% a year).
He is not stopping working, he is thinking about how to shape secondary legislation for the new middle-way pension from next year. He is loving his wife and wider family and keeping his friends happy.
I’d like to say that guys like Andy make it all worthwhile, but there aren’t guys like Andy – he’s a one-off and Britain is a better place because of him.
You can’t say that for many – you can for Andy Young.