Time for a clear out

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Big decisions like BREXIT kelp declutter the mind. Some of the most powerful thought-pieces I have read from Nigel Wilson, Steve Kelly and other business leaders have been about the need to return our focus to the fundamentals , the means of production, the embracing of risk, the focus on the customer and our relationships with our overseas trading partners.

Mentally, BREXIT may, in a way that remain wouldn’t have, create a clear out.

When in the attic, a really important question is whether we could do without something, if the answer is “no” then it’s better off elsewhere. If we can’t see anyone being better off with the item- off to the skip with it, otherwise we have a host of ways of getting shot of things.

Purging the attic is hugely satisfying. Conversely, failing to declutter can lead to catastrophe as those who follow the housekeeping of Cathy in Coronation Street will know.

roy and cathy

I hope there will be a clear out of clutter in our world of pensions. Too often we have been caught up in the legal implications of decisions that have very little importance to the way we live.

Take the equalistion of Guaranteed Minimum Pension and apply the “attic” process above. Do we want to do this work – “no”, does anyone else care about it “no”, why is it still causing  so much trouble- because of worries over EU law – solution- send it to the skip.

Take the definition of cost and charges and apply the attic test. Do we want to know what we are paying – yes, are we able to find out how much we’re paying – no. Why not? Because we are waiting on every man and his dog in Europe to agree.  Solution- get on with it – let’s do this for ourselves.


I’m sure if I put my mind to it, I could make a long list of things I’d fling out of the pensions attic , jobs we’ve put in the too-hard box because of European law.

Add to this list the need to look at the way we charge  (or don’t charge) VAT on auto-enrolment,  how we distribute government incentives to encourage retirement saving and the regulations we put in place to help people from ruining later life for the lure of a pension scam.

The message has to be the message we give to the English football team (that has been learned by the English cricket and rugby teams) – just do it.

We are gripped by fear, frightened of the consequences of the decisions we take. “Remain” became a campaign to take no decision, few of us could find a positive reason to remain , many of us voted reluctantly and a huge number of us voted perversely and then made a fuss of being mis-sold BREXIT.

The decision has been taken and we now have the chance to declutter. Either we can step forwardly purposefully -without fear – and play with the freedom and passion of our cricket and rugby teams, or we can retreat into the cautious, indecisive world of our football team.

I am full of energy, I want to change things, or at least help things to change. NO FEAR.

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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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