I’d walked through parliament square to get the Pension and Benefits show and thought how a few hours before Jeremy Corbyn had delighted the die-hards where I trod. I’d seen him defiant on my way back from work and within an hour I was to see the same spirit in Angela Rayner, once our shadow pensions minister, now our shadow minister for women.
Her appearance at PBUK brought politics to life and gave those there an insight into how an ordinary member of the public engages with one of our most powerful financial lobbies.
Rayner is fearless. I’d bumped into Colin Meech prior to the event and asked him if he’d got his woman with him. I hadn’t seen Rayner standing behind him, the look I got nearly knocked me out – Angela Rayner is no-one’s woman but her own! I’ve since had the chance to apologise – lesson learned!
Shortly after, she was off – to an emergency meeting of the shadow cabinet – then back in time to deliver 30 minutes off the cuff to a packed hall. Politics doesn’t come much closer than that.
The Pension Minister also spoke but without the freedom Rayner granted herself. She will be a great loss to pensions, she is properly in touch with the people she represents. I hope that she will continue to champion woman’s pension issues in her new role and hold the Conservative’s feet to the fire over woman’s rights (especially to the single state pension).
I spoke at the event, focussing on bringing down the cost of advice and the impact that Fintech would have on public access to the secrets of their pensions. Technology cannot be put back in the box, it cannot be used to protect margins, like a river, it will find its easiest way to the sea and will eventually sweep aside every dam, sluice and weir we put in its way.
The room was full, hot and I had to take my tie off, thanks to the lady (whoever you were) who shouted “don’t stop there” – believe you me, you’re lucky I did”
If you want to see my slides , here they are;
Sadly, the second day of this great event clashes with the first day of Henley. I am off to the river for five days and will be a little quieter on social media than usual.
I’m very sorry not to be able to attend the NEST insight conference which sadly clashes with Henley and PBUK. I know the NEST media team monitor my blog, so can you pass on my thanks for NEST Insight 2015, which has been informing Pension PlayPen strategy and this blog these past fourteen months.
Thanks to Jon Stapleton, Maggie and the PBUK events team. You have not let us down, this is a really great conference that happens where conferences should happen- in the thick of it.
It is great when we see into the heart of the matter, as I felt we did listening to Angela and Ros. Politics is (as Angela admitted) in a mess and we saw some of that messiness yesterday. But we also saw too women who are rising above the political scrum and focussing on what really matters, the retirement incomes of those we all serve.