These aren’t “apples and oranges” – just pension pots

There came a point as I was reading another article in the FT (about the time it takes to switch pension pots) that I lost my temper.

That point was when I read this

Mercer says comparing individual pension policies with trust-based occupational schemes is “like comparing apples and oranges”.

This goes to the heart with what we , pension people, are doing wrong. Whether we are IFAs, lawyers, accountants, benefit consultants or actuaries, we have lost sight of the people who pay us.

Let’s be quite clear –

  • for all the legal complexities surrounding trust and contract law
  • for all the tax complexities between occupational and personal pensions
  • for all the governance and advisory issues between the two

…. a pension pot is just a sum of money owed to someone.

The argument of the Mercer spokesperson was that complexity can justify the delays Mercer create for the likes of Pension Bee executing pot to pot transfers.

These arguments mean nothing to ordinary people who struggle to understand the first thing about the money owed to them in retirement.

They just want to have their money managed in a way that suits them. If they have chosen Pension Bee to manage their money, then it is not for Mercer to delay the execution of their decision.

Nor can Pension Bee be compared with a scam. Scams are horrible but they cannot be used to justify the holding up of legitimate requests.

It’s time we stopped telling people how dumb and ignorant they are not to know as much about pensions as we do – time to give people excellent service by making things easy.

About henry tapper

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