@CIPP_UK – “grafters not shafters!” – thx.


CIPP_ACE17_AWARDS (img_9888)_Lifetime achievment-PENSIONS_Henry Tapper (accepted by Jason Davenport).jpg

cropped-playpensnip1.pngI woke up this morning to lots of messages telling me I’d won an award! Not just any award but a lifetime achievement award from an organisation I have a lot of respect for – the CIPP, who had their annual conference in Chepstow yesterday.

While I was whizzing back to London from Newcastle, the CIPP and Trevor Mcdonald gave me this prize and I am so happy!

Coincidentally , I am even more happy as it looks like the work that I really want to do for tens of thousands of small employers is going to happen , thanks to a herbaceous software company in the North East!

ht lifetime achievment

McDoughnut, Graham and Hammond!



Not everything that happens with money – happens in London!

Are you getting a theme here? The CIPP are based in Solihull, I was in Newcastle and McDoughnut and co were in Wales. The word “London” refers only to where the action wasn’t! In case anyone reading this blog thinks that London’s where the heavy lifting goes on, think again! I got messages from Frome (thanks Jim Parsons)and Reading (thanks Hayley). Infact, almost everyone (quiet Liz) who I work with in payroll is out of town!

Because payroll isn’t very glamorous and doesn’t hang out in the Ned of an evening and doesn’t do awards in the Grosvenor House or the Dorchester.

But payroll makes pensions go round and if you don’t believe that, look at the compliance figures for auto-enrolment. When I was with the herbaceous software people I was studying a survey of thousands of their clients about pensions awareness. It was encouraging to discuss strategy based not on the likely impact on assets under management but on how we could better reach the millions of people paid by this firm.

The CIPP is the oil that keeps the payroll industry (including the software companies) grinding!


Grafters – not shafters!

Pension people can only aspire to the productivity of payroll. I know from five years of working with payroll people that they are grafters and not shafters.

Payroll – probably the most accountable profession in the world

There is something very simple about getting payroll right., it is- that if you don’t- you are sacked. There is no black or white in payroll. it’s right first time or out you go. That means that treating customers fairly is not an aspiration but a pre-requisite of the job.

Yes, payroll software companies are commercial and so are those who use the software, whether in-house or within a bureau. But the 36% margins achieved by the asset managers are not achieved in the competitive market of payroll. I doubt that most owners of the bureaux I work with, would tolerate any of their suppliers achieving such profitability, nor would they consider such margins for themselves as reasonable.

If the FCA wanted to set a benchmark against which to judge the asset management industry, they could do worse than look at payroll.

I am really happy to have been recognised for trying to help pensions and to help payroll.cipp22

The CIPP are great people and I value the CIPP’s recognition above that of any other trade body, as they are at the heart of what is good about payroll.

On Wednesday, I heard our Prime Minister croak that she would dedicate the rest of her term in office to making Britain a nation of house-owner again. That wasn’t much of a promise, the longevity of her term was undermined by the minute she stood on the podium!

McDoughnut my hero!


Last night, I missed out on collecting the award from Trevor (a teenage hero thanks to Lenny Henry) and I’m bloody glad I didn’t make any such foolish pledges myself.


I run the Pension PlayPen, we’re here to restore confidence in Pensions. I work for First Actuarial, the best pension consultancy in Britain. I am proud as punch that the CIPP think I’m doing a good job -I think they’re doing a great job too!







About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
This entry was posted in Payroll, pension playpen, pensions and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to @CIPP_UK – “grafters not shafters!” – thx.

  1. Phil Castle says:

    I agree… payroll and also historically the banks when doing payroll too were grafters not shafters. I remember well bank counting houses…. two staff locked in a room receiving money in and making up pay fpr the waged in CASH to be paid out.
    I also remember being paid in CASH while on 2 week TA excercises.
    This all before the banks decided they coudld make money by NOT checking thinsg twice and on moving people from weekly waged in cash to bank transfer and then selling them all those lovely ancilliary products with high commission which the consumer BOUGHT unadvised i.e. PPI
    Senior bankers of the late 80’s were responsible for the PPI debacle and the global crash and yet it is all of us now who are paying the price.

  2. Adrian Boulding says:

    Congratulations! A thoroughly deserved award from a first rate organisation.


  3. Peter Tompkins says:

    Did you read The Economist | Everyone’s a winner

    “There seem to be lots for human-resources workers, notes Mr Robinson. “They get beaten up a bit within business, so they like to prove they are outstanding.””

  4. henry tapper says:

    Nice one! I agree – having spent a day judging 120 submissions to one of those 2000 events, I am sure that most of the effort could better be spent on making Britain more productive! All I can say in my defence is that I didn’t solicit this award and didn’t go to the ceremony. That said – I am absolutely delighted to have won!

  5. Bob Ward says:

    You didn’t mention this when we met earlier, well done and well deserved.
    I fully support your sentiments and add that the CIPP have given a great legacy to auto enrolment by their tireless efforts to get payroll bureaux involved and lead the march on behalf of businesses to enroll plus all the hard work with the Papdis files to harmonise provider input.
    You misses a gem though with Trevor, he is a real gent. I attended a dinner with him some 25 years when he was guest speaker and I responded. neither of us were invited back again!

  6. henry tapper says:

    Thanks Bob, you are a gentleman.

Leave a Reply