True Potential’s “lost” 2017 IGC report


The True Potential IGC (2017 edition)


The True Potential 2018 IGC report is late; just as the True Potential (TP) 2017 IC report was late. The 2017 report never got reviewed by me, I had assumed that TP had packed it in. Bob Ward’s sent me the link to the 2017 report, pointing out there is no link to the 2018 report despite it being May.

I almost wish they had, when I see the intellectual quality of last year’s effort, a copy of which can be downloaded here.

True Potential marketing 3The key insight of the report is highlighted in its own text box. The inverted commas are because this is not the IGC’s insight but one taken from a Pension Policy Institute report. Rather than do any hard thinking on value for money, the committee has found a well respected research outfit, read a relevant report and cut and pasted a central finding.

I wouldn’t mind if what TP found was insightful, but it isn’t. It’s just plain dull. It falls into the same dull box as statements such as “diversification is the only free lunch” and it really isn’t the basis of a Value for Money belief system.

Judge for yourself, it appears to the right of the past three paragraphs.

I would like to award this report a good value for money evaluation, but cannot. If the Committee did any work over the course of the year, then it doesn’t show. Cleary they got paid, or else we wouldn’t have got this report, but quoting the PPI does not represent any kind of authority, I give this report an orange for not bothering, unless something changes in 2018, the orange will turn to red, but I don’t suppose the IGC will worry much.

Mind blowingly banal

I don’t know any of the Charlies on the IGC Committee or yet the Chair. Their  first report was alright, it was refreshing and I gave it reasonable marks, but that was when the world was a different place. By April 2017 when this report was published, the world had moved on a great deal. The IGC Committee appear to have cobbled together the report after a good lunch and a few revivers. How else can we explain this extraordinary statement that kicks off proceedings.

The Independent Governance Committee is very pleased to know that True Potential Investments has communicated with Auto Enrolment members during the year as follows

True investor marketing flop

A mailshot for ISAs? A transfer gift? Another Win for True Potential Investor at the Lang Cat Awards?

This is the kind of reporting that goes on in the marketing department but has no business in an IGC report. Infact it brings the IGC into disrepute. If this is really what “pensions communication” between provider and member should be about, we should all get in the Tardis and go back to 1986.

The sections on TP’s member engagement are engaging – as spending an afternoon in a wine-bar is engaging. Unfortunately we get about as much sense out or the IGC as we might expect after it had imbibed a case of good port.

In truth the report is mind-blowingly banal and deserves a red for being totally ineffective.

One wonders why True Potential bother with auto-enrolment at all, How these feeble numbers can justify a business is hard to work out.

True Potential Marketing 2

My experience with Legal & General suggests that the assets gathered in four years of trying, hardly warrant the reporting. It is worth noting that TP turned down the offer of a free due diligence report from Pension PlayPen and the consequent exposure to the payroll market because the effort of completing the due diligence was too great.

At the time (2015-16) , I had assumed that TP had created a solid market share that allowed it (like other small providers) to ignore the digital service we offered. Well clearly I was wrong.


Every TP policyholder  I have talked to , tells me how easy it is to use the TP app, contribute the way they want to contribute and the TP website does look and feel a lively place.

It really is sad that TP has been so let down by its IGC. The IGC, as mentioned several times in this report, sound affable – probably a jolly good crowd to get drunk with. The IGC gives jobs to the boys but at the expense of policyholders and policyholders need value for money.

Delivering your report late (two times in a row) is not the way to get read. But you sense that getting read’s the last thing on the True Potential IGC’s agenda. I give it a red for engagement.

About henry tapper

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