Many of my readers won’t know Al except from what I’ve said about him, he’s not one for the publicity spotlight, but when it comes to mobilising advisers , it’s another story.
This is a rare blog from Al published 2nd December, if you an IFA follow the link at the end of the article.
Advisers and other members of the financial services profession giving pro bono help to those affected by the British Steel Pension Scheme fiasco.
Thank you to everyone who has stepped forward with an offer to help. I have been stupefied – this alleged wrongdoing has really made us sit up and think. CHIVE, by the way, stands for Counselling, Help, Information, Volunteer Exchange. The idea is that those of us with suitable skills to put something back into our communities and to help people who aren’t as knowledgeable or as fortunate as us.
It is clear that many people want to help, not just IFA.
So, if you’re not an IFA with the ability to do this, please still step forward and send me your credentials. I’d love as many people as possible to get involved. If I still can’t find a place for you, I apologise. There will be more opportunities though, so please don’t be disheartened or offended. Although this isn’t regulated advice, we are still responsible for what we say though, so a suitable level of expertise is required. That might either be as a Pension Transfer Specialist, a CF30 Adviser or an experienced para planner. If you’re working in one of the ancillary fields, such as Actuary (and can talk for a few minutes without sending people to sleep), please step forward – we need you.
This is not about anything other than helping these people. They didn’t ask to be placed in this predicament, and we have the skills, and, I hope, the motivation and sense of compassion to undo some of the damage and jeopardy that a few people (and the system) have placed them in.
Brief outline: Going into one of six locations, you’ll be supporting by giving one to one counselling to those connected with the British Steel pension Scheme mayhem. And, boy, it is mayhem. So be prepared to deal with young lads in the twenties, to widows in their 90s. We need people in addition to the counsellors at each venue. So, if the venue requires four people, I think we’ll need seven. Out of that seven, I need someone in charge and liaising things, and two floating counsellors to fill in whilst other counsellors have a break. I’d like there to be at least one PTS at each venue at any given time.
Dates: 11th and 12th December.
Times/shifts of surgeries: 1000-1500 and 1500-2000 (please be on site an hour before your shift and anticipate staying on for an hour afterwards should a follow up chat be required, or in the event of timings slipping to the right).
If you can do the entire day, please say so.
Locations and Requirements.
- Port Talbot: One supervisor and six counsellors.
- Corby: One supervisor and six counsellors.
- Shotton: One supervisor and three counsellors.
- Scunthorpe: One supervisor and six counsellors.
- Corby: One supervisor and six counsellors.
- Llanwern: One supervisor and five counsellors.
The supervisor will co-ordinate things, be the point of contact for any literature I can get from TPAS etc, keep the tea and coffee coming, stay on top of shift rosters and liaise with the local workers, media maybe, and venue staff. Ideally, you’ll be available all day to ensure continuity.
So, to summarise, over the course of the to days, we need commitment from at least 72 people. and possibly as many as 138. The counsellors will be expected to have swotted up in detail on the scheme, and the various options for it so that you may discuss, with confidence, any one of the following pre-agreed and booked topics.
- I have already transferred out of BSPS and I’m worried.
- I am still working, and I don’t know what decision to make.
- I am retired and I don’t know what decision to make.
- My question is about general financial planning, not BSPS.
- I am sure that I have been miss-sold, how do I complain?
Supporting documentation: Please make sure you make notes – a rudimentary fact find will be requested of your client beforehand and will be made available to you in advance.
Commercial activities: Forbidden, face to face. The clients will be told in advance that soliciting has been forbidden. You should be expected to tell the client about yourself though – your employer, your location, your experience and your qualifications – this only enhances your credibility as a counsellor. We are not anti-business, we’re just anti bad business and there’s nothing to prevent a client leaving your session with a commercially favourable impression of you. So, please feel free to bring some business cards which will be made available centrally (with everyone else’s) to any client visiting.
We will also be offering typical examples of service and pricing, and hopefully, literature from TPAS etc.
In the first instance, that’s it for now. The link below will give you an idea of the booking in process that the clients will be asked to book in with. So, as soon as I can put names, and possibly photos and a short summery of you, to the process, the sooner I can roll it out to the Facebook pages. So, don’t be shy. Send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, a brief two liner about you, the location you can do and the date(s) and time(s).
Once again, thank you very much. If you can retweet this or circulate this to colleagues and friends, that would be superb. Counselling is incredibly rewarding. In addition to helping people who would never otherwise think of chatting with an IFA, it can help you develop skills, enforce credibility in your local community and expand your profile, and create a more favourable impression of the profession. We’re very lucky, so, at Xmas, let’s put something back and help those worried people much less fortunate than ourselves.