There weren’t many people at the Pension Management Institute’s event last night But it was an important meeting nonetheless
There is a little group of pension professionals under the age of 40 who could grow. They want to have a say in the governance of the pension plans they are in.
Speaking last night to the pensions manager of one of the biggest DC plans in the UK , I discovered that they had had over 50 applicants for an Member Nominated Trustee post. One was from a 21 year old.
Speaking with most senior pension executives, I sense
- They are the wrong side of fifty
- They are unlikely to fulfil governance positions with people younger than them,
But the manager I spoke with – explained to me , her employer’s attitude to pension scheme governance. Excuse the anonymity and my paraphrase but her argument went like this
We want people to be trustees not because we think they know best, but to help the scheme grow best.
We’ve given up on second guessing how people under forty want their pension invested, how they want to be told about what’s going on. We want to hear directly from our members and the member nominated trustee route is the best way to get that input.
Having a large number of member nominated trustees directing key decisions on our plan is not a risk but a commercial imperative. It is not the employer’s money, it is the member’s money – it is not our risk, it is the member’s risk.
I completely get it. We need young people to step forward and take direction of the pension schemes they are members of.
A millennial hall of fame
The vast majority of employers do not have control of their workplace pensions. They either participate in a group personal pension – run by an insurer and governed by an independent governance committee (IGC); or they participate in a multi-employer workplace pension trust, such as NEST, People’s Pension, NOW, Smart, Salvus and Bluesky (there are more).
I would like any of those organisations who have trustees or IGC members under the age of 40 to write to me at email@example.com. Please tell me who is under 40 and (if possible) how old these people are. I want to publicise the diversity of your schemes and your forward-looking attitude to governance.
If you are not in a position to write to me now with the good news that you have youngsters on your pension board, perhaps you can send me a note of your intent to include young people in future. I promise to publish your intent on my hall of fame.
Can you be an independent trustee and under forty?
If you are actively looking for work as an independent trustee (DB or DC schemes) and are under forty , please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I don’t just want to feature people on the buy side of the equation. I want to give pension organisations, independent trustee firms and recruitment agencies visibility of who you are in my millennial hall of fame.
Similarly, if you are under forty and want to be on the IGC of the insurer running your GPP or want to be an MNT of employer nominated trustee of your company workplace pension – please contact me.
How I want to help
This blog is well read, I am able to speak with people who want to hear my views – to an extent because of the readership of this blog. I want to make sure that my readership’s views are represented – not just mine.
So I want to give young people a voice on this blog. This doesn’t just mean Iona Bain, though I think Iona Primum inter Pares. She is a thought leader, a brave and inspirational voice for the young. But there are many other young and talented millennials who I met last night who I’d like to promote.
I appreciate that many of you will be fearful of compromising your careers from the wrong kind of exposure, I will be sensitive to your wishes. I know that putting your hand up for pensions jobs is unlikely to win you immediate social kudos! I’ll be sensitive to that to.
But if you are young and want to be counted, if you want your voice heard and you’d like to take responsibility for the pension that you’re in – or even other people’s pensions, just write to me at email@example.com with how you’d like to be featured in my millennial hall of fame.
Tiny steps can soon eat up the miles.
The group last night is called NextGen.
It’s a great initiative, it kicks off my millennial hall of fame. Well done to the PMI and PLSA for taking the tinystep to support this meeting.
I’m happy to use the millennial hall of fame – which will appear as a page on this blog, to advertise future meetings of Next Gen and to help Next Gen members take governance positions in their pension schemes (and the schemes of others).
And of course , any content from the trade or national press will be most welcome too.
Thanks to Jonathan Stapleton for reminding me of this excellent piece by millennial Kim Kaveh in Professional Pensions.