This morning I will be on local radio with five minutes to answer this question.
The question’s prompted by a listener to Hereford and Worcester Radio who is sure he/she had a pension with someone somewhere but can’t remember much more than that.
It’s a nagging doubt that many of us have that we have money with someone but have no way of finding it. I have the same problem with betting accounts, I know that I have money with Sunderlands, Bet365, Jennings and others – accounts that I set up on the train down to Cheltenham to get that free bet, accounts I used once and never again.
I am sure that professional gamblers will look at me with the contempt that many will look at the person from Hereford or Worcester – how can people be so dumb?
I have moved beyond that question. According to the Pension Policy Institute , there is £20,000,000,000 of other people’s money swilling about in pension trusts, in the troughs of life insurance companies or “managed” in “self-invested” personal pensions. The person from Hereford or Worcester is not alone.
As a bit of a joke, the Sun newspaper and I did a do-it-yourself dashboard this summer where – instead of using a professional pension finding service like Origo or Experian, you tried to do it yourself. I don’t know if the Sun ever published the article digitally, but I took a snap of our DIY dashboard pension finding service at the time. It looked like this.
Do it now!
As you can see – once you go through steps 1-7, you are on to step eight – get on with it. “Things will get more expensive the longer you leave it!” I think when we were doing this, we expected to see the results of the DWP’s feasibility study any day, that was June – this is the last day in November.
Funnily enough, I’ve got a meeting in my diary for 11 am on Monday 3rd December – to meet the Pensions Minister in the rather scary Portcullis House. I don’t know if it will be “off with the blogger’s head” or an announcement on something. Could it be that the DWP are actually going to be doing something about publishing the feasibility study that should have been published in March?
Should I tell the person from Hereford or Worcester not to do anything now but wait till the DWP tell us that following the publication of the feasibility study they are now going to launch a feasibility study as to whether there should be one dashboard or many – whether the job of pension finding is going to get any easier?
Or should I just say what Sun readers were being told in June, that a pensions dashboard may help in the future , but that you haven’t got time to waste watching Government fannying around sorting it out?
Don’t let your pensions get in the way of politics!
I think I’ll resist slagging-off the Pensions Minister, Portcullis House sounds the kind of place you might not find your way out of in a hurry.
Instead, I’ll suggest that the ABI and the DWP have got this all sewn up, and that you’ll be hearing from them later, once the consultation has been completed. In the meantime they can play Pension Snakes and Ladders on this natty little board we’ve designed for you.
After all £20bn is just a drop in the ocean compared to the amount of extra revenues the Treasury will make from Pension Freedoms.
Politics is much more fun than pensions, especially for politicians – so person from Hereford and Worcester – you’re just going to have to figure it our for yourself!