Wanted for listing – IGC/GAA Chair reports

IGC

Pension Plowman’s Directory

At this week’s Stewardship meeting of the transparency task force, someone asked if there was a Directory of the IGC’s that have been published so far.

There wasn’t until then, but I sent round the links of the IGCs which I’ve read and here it is (in no particular order)

1. Royal London 

2. Legal & General

3. Prudential 

4. Scottish Widows

5. Aviva

6. Phoenix 

7. Standard Life

8 BlackRock

9.Friends Life

10. Zurich Assurance

11. Abbey Life

12. Hargreaves Lansdowne

13. Fidelity

14. Aegon

15. Old Mutual

16. Reassure

17. Virgin Money

As soon as I have links on future  reports , I will post them on this blog .People who are interested in the Governance of workplace (and personal) pensions, can use this list as a protem reference point.

GAAs

In addition to the full blown IGCs, we expect to see reporting from some of the smaller insurers and SIPP providers through a mini-IGC or GAA (Governance Advisory Arrangement). Typically the governance is outsourced to a professional firm of trustees such as PAN or Pitmans Trustees Limited (the latter run a GAA heavy and GAA plus. The terms of reference for PTL reports are available here

Publicity for these arrangements is sparse, so far I only know of those listed below (PTL unless otherwise stated) . I may review these if time permits.  If you know of or have published a GAA statement not on this list, please send it to me (see details below)

Mobius Life Pan

Wesleyan Assurance

St James Place

Guardian Assurance (next year to merge into the ReAssure IGC)

Equitable Life

Curtis Banks

NFU mutual (not yet available)

Big Blue (Aon)

AJ Bell (Punter Southall ITL)

We understand there are a further 6 Pitmans reports to follow

A call for the FCA to publish a directory of IGC (and GAA) reports

If the FCA are the consumer facing Regulator who take the work of IGCs as seriously as I hope they do, we might expect this function to be assumed by them soon. If the best way to access information about the insurance industry’s major initiative in response to the OFT’s damning report in 2014 is best reported on a private blog, then there’s something lacking in the state of Regulation/journalism and the trade body of the insurers- the ABI.

Taken collectively, the IGC reports are an important statement about how pension governance is working in Britain.

Necessarily  the audience for these reports is limited. They are designed for members- but the way in which member protection works in this country, the member’s representatives- advisers, regulators and journalists, are going to be paying these most attention.

That is the way it is. Personal pensions have been around for nearly 30 years now and they still haven’t caught the imagination of the general public. They are too complicated a product for general discussion and the outcomes that people have had from their personal pension saving has often disappointed.

Perhaps the disappointment is down to exaggerated expectations (the early SMPIs suggested a growth rate of 13% and an annuity conversion factor of 10:1).

Perhaps the disappointment’s down to the departure of the adviser after the “point of sale” leaving most personal pensions “orphaned” from birth.

Perhaps the disappointment’s down to the drag on fund performance from the various charges on a member, which- for all the pleading otherwise, have often been well above 2% pa.

Whatever the reason, and the legacy reporting within the IGCs has properly focussed on restitution – not recrimination, few would argue that the long-tail of workplace pensions has much meat on it.

These reports are the documentary evidence of the problems of the legacy and they are also a beacon of light for the future. If we are to restore confidence in pensions, it is the IGC Committees who should lead the charge .

My criticism of the weak reports results from my desire to see IGCs work – not just behind the scenes – but as a means in helping us restore our faith in the workplace personal pension as a means of providing us with the financial security we need in later life.

My praise for the good IGCs is genuine and is not influence by a desire to be liked or remunerated.

Blogs on the IGCs

If you would like to read my views on the reports, they are published below.

1. Royal London – Royal London’s IGC kicks off reporting

2. Legal & General – Legal and General’s IGC – frustrated but getting there!

3. Prudential  – Prudential’s IGC report – good stuff (with crap PR)

4. Scottish Widows – Scottish Widows IGC – papering over the cracks

5. Aviva – Corporate codswallop from Aviva’s IGC

6. Phoenix    Phoenix and its heroic IGC

7. Standard Life  Standard Life’s IGC’s annual report; deceptively good!

8. Abbey Life – Help for the forgotten – the Abbey Life IGC

9. Black Rock– “You’ve all done very well” – the Black Rock IGC Chair’s statement

10. Friends Life  Say hello- say goodbye – the Friends Life IGC statement

11. Zurich – And now for something completely different – the Zurich IGC Statement

12.Aegon  Aegon’s IGC- treating the customer seriously

13. Hargreaves Lansdown– Corporate Vantage deserves better than this- the Hargreaves Lansdown iGC

14.Fidelity– Short but not that sweet – Fidelity’s IGC

15. Old Mutual-OMG-OMW- well done  Old Mutual for your  IGC

16. ReAssure– Reassured? The ReAssure IGC is working for you.

17. Virgin Money-Passing on the Kool-Aid-the Virgin Money IGC report

Government Advisory Arrangements

I will publish reviews of GAAs as one document.

NB – Don’t expect all this to stay the same, I constantly update them with no information and correct them when I have made a mistake (see below).

Is your IGC/GAA statement missing?

I am not a journalist, do not get paid for doing this work and haven’t got a link to the press releases of the insurers and SIPP providers IGC Chair reports. I am dependent on word of mouth and I have been pretty appalled at the lack of co-operation from some of the insurers in publicising their reports.

If sunlight is the best disinfectant, it seems many insurers are preferring to keep their laundry in the drawer (and I’ll assume its dirty).

If you are an IGC member, or are running a GAA and your report is not featured here, it is not because I’m ignoring it- it’s because I don’t know about it. Please send it to me or tell me where I can find it.

Errors and omissions

Yes, I make mistakes- huge numbers of typos, some factual errors and errors of judgement. If I have made a mistake and you want to challenge me, you – whether speaking as a policyholder, an insurer (or SIPP provider) or as an IGC/GAA member, you have three ways to do it.

email me at henry.tapper@pensionplaypen.com

phone me on 07785 377768

leave your comment in the comments box on the blog.

I don’t delete comments, even when they are abusive. I welcome abuse!

Please feel free to complain to anyone about what I’m saying, I really don’t mind being called to account as I frequently am. Where people want a meeting to explain why I am wrong, I will go to that meeting (provided it is in a reasonable time and place).

Your voice is more important than my voice or anybody else’s voice!

Please don’t keep your thoughts to yourself.Your opinion is (to you) the most important opinion. Believe it or not – your opinion is the most important to me as well! For the time that we can read other people’s views (however much we disagree with them), those views shape our collective opinion.

We need a reasoned debate on how we restore confidence in pensions. Your opinions count and are as valid (if not more so) than those expressed on these pages and in the pages of the IGC reports.

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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