News from the Sunday Times via @paullewismoney reports that Ros Altmann is to be our (eg those over 50) new work tsar.
This I take to be good news.
Steve Webb hopes she will shake a few trees, she’ll have to! There is an obduracy about the British Labour market that means that in some parts of the country more than 50% of the grey population are doing no proper work, contributing nothing to the economy and most importantly, losing their sense of self-respect.
I have nothing but respect for Ros who is regularly berated by the Pensions Industry for her populist views on annuities, state pension guarantees and the general state of things for us oldies.
Why Ros is good for pensions.
I distrust the pension industry for its bitchiness to Ros. They are by and large representing the well-heeled over 50s who have gained most from the system. Small wonder they resent Ros’ resolute campaigning on behalf of those who haven’t.
The re-rorganisation of personal finances that is bound to follow the annuity reforms in the budget need a voice from outside the pensions industry to speak for the interests of those who don’t know their GMPs from their BSPs.
Ros looks at things through the glasses of those whose financial expectations have been continually dashed by high charges, badly designed products, unrealistic expectations and unfortunate markets.
Restoring public confidence in state pensions, let alone private pensions, is no easy chance and the appointment of Ros to be cheerleader will help the pension industry focus on delivery before profit.
Why Ros is good for work
The greatest financial asset us over 50s have, is our capacity to earn, whether with our hands or with our fingers , we should be generating the wealth that provides jobs , pensions and financial security for our children.
At the moment, there is an insidious and unhelpful view that the over 50s are free-loading on its children and that the intergenerational transfer is concentrating on us sucking money from our parents and leaving nothing for our kids.
Anyone who knows what it’s like to be over 50 , realises that it’s a time when you become aware that you are physically not able to do what you could. The insecurity of impending infirmity adds to the insecurity of falling physical capacity. Work is the lifeline that keeps people going.
Why Ros is good for the over 50s
After the conversations I have had with Ros, it is always the unfailing determination to make things happen, that I ‘m left with. If Government have recognised this in her and are prepared to give her both the power and the budget to wipe out the prejudice that keeps older people out of work and the lack of confidence that stops them changing things for themselves, then good.
Well done Ros, anything the Pension PlayPen can do to help you in your work we will do.