Solving problems – with some Christmas cheer!

time to choose

Time to Choose

Today is the last day of Time to Choose, if you have not made your election and you are a member of BSPS, send off your option form today. That it is dated 22nd December and posted on the 22nd is enough

The problems facing steel workers are not going to be solved by sitting on the options form!

The good and bad

Problem solving is at the front of my mind as yesterday saw two examples of problem solving which sum up  good and bad.


Good came from one SIPP provider – caught up in the furore in Port Talbot. The CEO got on the phone, explained his position and politely asked me to remove a reference to his firm’s negligence in accepting instructions that weren’t in the clients interest.

I now understand much better how little SIPP managers can do – a similar position to the trustees of occupational pensions when asked for an advised transfer request.

While I am generally against abnegation of responsibility, I was left with a sense that this SIPP provider wanted to be a part of the solution


Bad came from another SIPP provider who instead of phoning me to explain, sent me what amounts to a “solicitor’s email” from  Group Legal Counsel.

As it happened, the change demanded had already been actioned as a result of the aforementioned telephone call . I was left with the impression that this provider would be part of the problem.

Affirmative action

Since both solutions to the problem were the same (take out the reference to negligence), it is odd that they produced such different results. I will think the better of the CEO of SIPP1 and the worse of SIPP2. SIPP 1 solved the problem by building a friendship while SIPP2 made me angry and resentful.

I am with Phil Young in feeling that too much of this debate is about the reputations of those in the industry. The problems at Port Talbot can be solved by affirmative action such as the use of the Facebook pages, project Chive and the good work of TPAS.

If we are to get better at solving problems, we should start by putting ourselves in good cheer and addressing the problems with good heart -as Phil does and as the SIPP CEO who phoned me -did.

Merry Christmas to everyone reading this blog on their last day of work before the break.


About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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1 Response to Solving problems – with some Christmas cheer!

  1. Stefan says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all who gave their time and considerable knowledge and experience to help BSPS Members. Henry, you are a hero of the highest level. Getting the correct message out was the priority and you did that brilliantly. Slainte.

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