Helping people understand their pensions

agewage snip

Last night I spoke to a group of potential investors about AgeWage, they were mainly senior doctors. I thinkthey got it. I hope that you will understand our vision for more understanding of pensions.

Here are the slides

Here is what I said

I’m the son of a GP and a physiotherapist, if you were at the Middlesex in the fifties you might have known Geoff Tapper and Phil Hesketh. I’m not an actuary, or a lawyer or a born entrepreneur, but I share my parent’s strong sense of social purpose. I’d like to spend the next fifteen minutes explaining how your support for the work I and my colleagues are doing, will not only make you a great deal of money, but help a lot of people to a better later years.

When my Dad retired in 1988 it was all so easy, an NHS pension with the prospect of more to come when he was 65, my Mum depended on him and supported him as he began a second career helping deliver social services in Dorset. When he died earlier his year, she inherited part of his pension and she lives in comfort as she approaches her 90s. She has new knees and a new lease of life!

But for me it will be different. When I sat down at 54 to look at my pension affairs I found I had 11 separate pensions. 9 out of 11 were my responsibility, one was the state and the other is now paying me the wage on which I am running AgeWage.

It took me nearly 3 months to find out where my pensions and another 2 months to find out what they were worth , whether I could bring together and work out which pot I should use to provide me with income and cash in the future. I’ve worked in pensions most of my life and I’m telling you I would not have been able to do this if I hadn’t. Most people need professional advice but few take it, it would have cost me several thousand pounds in fees to have employed someone like John Mather which is why only 6% of us use financial advisers when we retire.

My pensions included guaranteed annuities, terminal bonuses and all kind of exit penalties (some of which magically fell away when I got to 55 – something I suspect few people know about!)

I would not wish my 5 month ordeal on anyone!

It’s not right that ordinary people get landed with this job without support. I’m making it my business to make sure AgeWage provides them- free of charge with a pension finder service, a rating of each pension pot and a pathway through the minefield of decisions to a point where they can manage their retirement income through cash withdrawals, annuity purchase or wealth preservation.

I won’t bother you with the mathematical detail of the algorithm or the complexity analysing individual’s contribution history and digitally benchmarking them against other people’s pensions. Suffice it to say that we will be able to show you, in real time , how the money you’ve paid to each pension has done.

We don’t give you bland assurances or shock horror stories, we give you a single number- the AgeWage number which is based on what you put in and what you can get out of your pension, Each pot is marked out of 100 and if your pot’s showing greater than 50, you’ve done alright.

To do this I need data, lots data. I am lucky to know the people who manage the companies who hold our pension data.  The numbers are crazy, if we don’t do something about it – there will be 50 million abandoned pots by 2050.

I can find many of these pots by working with the Independent Governance Committees of the insurers and the Trustees of occupational pensions and master trusts. But several of my pensions weren’t linked to work, they included the kind of pensions you might have used back in the eighties for your self-employed earnings, stakeholder pensions and the modern self-invested personal pensions. To track down and understand the DNA of pensions is a project we call the “pension genome”.

The people who run these trusts and governance committees are required to tell the millions of people for whom they are fiduciaries, the value for money of their pensions. To date this has consisted of a bland statement “our trust is providing you with value for money” – unsurprisingly this kind of statement is totally ignored.

We will empower these fiduciaries to tell members and policyholders whether they individually have been getting value for their money! We aren’t just making pensions relevant, we are making the people who govern them relevant to their beneficiaries.

The fiduciaries are introducing us to the organisations who run our pots. We are being asked to help pension providers with their biggest commercial risk, the proliferation of small pension pots which cost more to run and claim-manage then they can deliver in revenue.

Just for once, the interests of ordinary people and those who run their investments can be aligned. By bringing together pots using comparison scores, AgeWage can help individuals , fiduciaries and commercial providers to reduce costs and improve value for money

It will take us a couple of years to be ready to deal with anything that comes our way, but we’re already working out how to use the Date Protection Act 2018 and the dreaded GDPR, to get the information we need. We have promises of help from the COO of Money Supermarket and this summer we won the start-up idea of the year when we presented to the BGL Exec – BGL owns compare the market.

I am confident that the management team we have built, which includes the UK’s Fintech envoy Dr Chris Sier, will be able to help millions of people like me who approach the end of our earning years with financial foreboding.

The great thing is that we are up and running, have already got our pre-seed finance in place and are now putting together an Enterprise Investment Scheme which you can be a part of. I’m sure I don’t have to sell you on the tax advantages of EIS, but what I can give you assurance of, is that we are heading for the FCA Sandbox from which 80% of start-ups emerge and thrive.

I can tell you that having had my 57th birthday on Sunday, I am as determined as my father was when he started his second career. Within two years of starting his new career he was leader of Dorset County Council – the most powerful Liberal since Lloyd George as David Steele called him.

I am in the fortunate position to follow in his footsteps and I hope with your help that I can do this with AgeWage.

If you would like to look at AgeWage in more detail, I would be happy to help. We will launch in the next few daystar EIS investor memorandum and a shorter document that explains the ideas in this talk – in more detail.


But I wouldn’t invest on the basis of a document, and I don’t want you to invest unless you are 100% sure about our proposition, our team and our financial model. We are not a black-box like so many FinTechs , we are a group of passionate business people determined to make that difference.


So if you would like to meet with me, I will make my time and that of my team available to you. Face to Face, on the phone or answering your questions digitally , we want our investors to be in touch and stay in touch.


If this sounds the kind of organisation you would like to be a shareholder in, please let’s talk.

agewage snip

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
This entry was posted in actuaries, advice gap, age wage, annuity, Australia, pensions and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Helping people understand their pensions

  1. Richard Harris says:

    Looking forward to seeing the EIS investor memorandum.
    Good luck Henry

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