This morning, around 15 Port Talbot steelworkers will make their way from Paddington to Westminster to meet MPs – keen to help them in their pension plight. They will be greeted at the Cromwell Gate by a lot of media attention. Their fight, for proper compensation from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, their leader- Al Rush.
The story is about steel men doing things together. That’s how they’ve always done things, it was what made them such an easy target for Active Wealth – one out – all out.
The nearly 8000 people who left the British Steel Pension Scheme did not end up in the same place. Their savings are now dispersed accross a wide range of funds , a number of SIPPs with many different advisers. Though the works have stayed open, the workers are no longer in one scheme. They have come together because they share in one grievance, which they will take to parliament today.
It is a sad way for their experience of collective pensions to end. But these are resilient people and we hope that today will bring them compensation.
There is another way
While the events in South Wales last year, showed how collective trust can be abused, events in Central London yesterday showed quite the opposite.
Royal Mail Group and CWU – the Communications Union unveiled their anticipated Collective DC pension design to guests and advisers.
Note that the advisers in question worked together collectively in support of the CWU and Royal Mail- who worked together in support of the 140,000 staff at Royal Mail.
They were not giving up on a pension – or as Terry Pullinger calls it – “a wage for life”.
Collectively we need income in later life.
Much as I like Damion Stancombe, I want no part in his world view. He works for a pension consultancy- but he tells the world he is done with pensions.
Sorry it is me done with pensions. I can’t square the lie. The darling couple on the beach, the post war fantasy it’s all going to be all ok. Work longer accept less, raise the welfare bar to something above poverty level and support those that can’t work. God I am depressed…
— damian stancombe (@DamianStancombe) November 21, 2018
Damian, if you wanted to be impressed rather than be depressed, you should have been at the RSA clubhouse yesterday!
If you walk down Whitehall to the Cromwell Gate this morning, you will – at 9 am, see the steel men – led by Al , with a retinue of supporters (including me), entering parliament.
There may only be 15 steel men this morning, but they have come a mighty long way both physically and metaphorically. To a great extent – they have come that way because of the leadership shown by Al Rush and a few other people who have not given up on pensions.
I raise my glass to those who are coming together!
As I head off accross town in a few minutes, my thoughts are for the steel men, my hopes are for the postal workers and my determination is that I am not giving up on pensions.
Collectively, we’re not selling any post-war fantasy, we’re selling the idea of a wage for life. I am a pensions man- proud of it. I work for a pension consultancy – proud of that. I run two businesses, Pension PlayPen and AgeWage – proud of that too!