What happens to the money I pay into pensions?

agewage snakes and ladders

AgeWage have been asking this question to people where WeWork.

If you don’t know about WeWork, it’s the largest of a number of co-working spaces that you can find in London, around Britain and all over the world and some of the people who work there are talking in this video.

If you watched the video , you’ll notice that nobody was answering the question with the same answer.

AgeWage-Portraits-3Olly (my 21 year old son) doesn’t know where his pension fund money is invested – but would like to think it was up to some good. I am not so worried about what the money’s up to – but very keen that the outcome of my investment is a stable pension paid to me for the rest of my life.

I can just about tell Olly how my money is managed but not where it is invested. Olly is in NEST and is keen to see how his auto-enrolled contributions are contributing to the world he wants as a young adult.


Neither of us are very confident about finding out the information or about acting on it.

What I am about with AgeWage

AgeWage promises to give people a score for their pension pot that tells them how their contributions have performed relative to a carefully constructed benchmark. The mechanics of this are available if you are interested (henry@agewage.com).

This score tells you about the past, it is your prerogative to know about the past though – to date – no-one has felt like sharing this information with you.

But what’s more interesting (and more expensive) is to help you think about what should do with your money in the future.

The answer to that question could be

  1. continue to invest it
  2. cash it into your bank account
  3. buy a pension (an annuity)
  4. draw money from your pot.

If you are under 55 – only #1 is available as an option to you. So what is happening to your money right now is the main think you have to think about (apart from what you spend on your retirement as a pay deduction).

Getting people interested enough to care

The AgeWage score is about  getting people interested, it might not in itself make people interested enough to do something – that’s where we need to use all the kit that clever people have produced that allows people to understand what their money is doing and how to spend it.

We want to use technology to help people search for that information and get it. Whether the search is for other pension pots they own, or to find out how green their pension is , or what they need to spend on their retirement or how to spend the money they’ve saved, there’s a lot of cool stuff on the web.

But all that content is lost because people don’t trust the source. Would you buy your pension information from google?

Well maybe you would, but it’s a rough kind of guidance and we hope that we will be a better place to help you search. What’s more, we want to help your search and even take you to places where you can transact and change things for the better.

That’s what we mean about getting people interested enough to care.

What’s in it for us?

Most people get AgeWage as a means to engage people with the value of their money and they can see how we might become a kind of pension google, but making money out of all this is another matter.

In truth, we don’t know how best to make money out of the trust we engender and we won’t know till we’ve engendered that trust many thousands of times.

94% of the people in this country do not purchase advice and I don’t suppose AgeWage customers will be any more likely to put their hands in their pocket for something which they expect for free.

But I am pretty sure that if we can make AgeWage into the place that people trust to help them with their pensions, opportunities will arise to share in the vast revenues that are generated from the fractional charges we all pay.

In the meantime, AgeWage is about to raise quite a large amount of money from the market – we hope that that will include crowd-funding which we want to launch in March.

What’s in it for you?

The thousands of people (thankyou) who read this blog every week are pension experts. You are part of the millions of people AgeWage wants to help – but you are the ones who are already caring (you’re in my bubble).

You may feel that you would like yourself or the organisation you represent to be a part of this AgeWage thing. If that’s the case you can be one of our ambassadors. It will be free to be one – like it’s free to be an ambassador for transparency with Andy A.

So please get in touch (Henry@agewage.com) and come in to WeWork at Moorgate to have a chat!

Pensions don’t need to be scary!

About henry tapper

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