10 best read blog posts of 2017

oh my blog

In search order

  1. Why some transfer values are ridiculously high?     2017 was a year when the cash equivalent transfer value became fashionable again. When we look back at what CETVs have done to Defined Benefit pensions over the past 24 months, we will realise what a massive transfer in value from “pension” to “wealth” management has occurred
  2. Same old Watsons – taking the p*** In2017,the vertically integrated consultancy model really took off. If you wanted a consultant you got fiduciary management, a mastertrust and a procurement service thrown in. To WTW’s great credit, they have never whinged about me having a go and had the decency to let me into their client party last week.
  3. Advice to Watson Wyatt, Aon, Mercer and the denounced; one outcome of the FCA’s epic Asset Management Market study was the referral of investment consultants to the Competition and Markets Authority. As I firmly believe that the big three distort the market, I was highly pleased to see this.
  4. Postmen want to strike – is it any wonder?  87% of the Royal Mail CWU membership voted to come on strike for a “wage for life” rather than a pension pot. The strike hasn’t happen and won’t happen so long as Royal Mail are allowed to introduce a non-guaranteed CDC pension plan rather than DC and cash balance.
  5. Five moral reasons I didn’t take a transfer value. I turned down my big fat transfer value in favour of a wage for life. I didn’t take my tax-free cash either! I don’t want to be “wealthy” in the “wealth-management” sense of the word. I’d rather get a decent income in later life and not worry about the state of the markets!
  6. FT seminar sparks pension fury ; my attempt to be a tabloid journalist. The FT’s pension seminar, chaired by Clear Barrett, highlighted for me the irresponsibility of those flipping the lid of Pandora’s Box  (Ros Altmann, Merryn Somerset-Webb and the big-bad Woolfe included).
  7. Pensions Resurgent – the merit of the CWU’s proposals to the Royal Mail. The CWU designed a  Wage in Retirement Scheme (WinRS)  and put it to Royal Mail. It still sat too heavily on Royal Mail’s balance sheet but without it, I doubt the progress towards a settlement would have been possible. Let’s hope that WinRS can be used as a model for other schemes to consider.
  8. Is there really a “fail” at the Royal Mail ; Some of my blogs assume a life of their own on others blog sites- this blog was heavily promoted and read by postal workers and may have had some benign influence on the debate! I’d like to think so!
  9. Tideway – we will resume this conversation on June 19th. I’m no fan of the practice of charging clients for transfer advice , only when they’ve taken their transfer. I want to see more friction in the process. On June 19th we had the Great Pension Transfer debate – many agreed with me – Tideway didn’t. (this blog has been partially redacted to appease Tideway’s truculent management!)
  10. Cost and value of advice in Port Talbot. The blogs about BSPS came too late in the year to make much impression on the top 10 searchable blogs. The inclusion of this article owes much to the Facebook pages created by BSPS members, on which it appeared. I doubt we have heard the last of the decisions taken in the Time to Choose.

Thanks to those who have read my blog (nearly 250,000 of you this year). Thanks to those who have contributed blogs and made for some variety! Thanks too to the tolerance of the pension community whose patience has (at times) been sorely tested!

The point of the blog is to restore confidence in pensions, that means pensions, not pots of money! That’s one thing that’s come out of 2017 for me. I hope that in 2018 we will finally get round to helping people back to a more ordered world where income and not wealth is to the fore!





About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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