It’s not often that the phrase “lost in translation” is more than a glib cliche , but yesterday’s *fake news* on the impending catastrophe from the ECJ ruling on the PPF has given if fresh currency!
The breaking news was preceded by this seemingly prescient warning the day before.
Pride of place in the *fake news* hall of fame goes to Sky News who not only printed a fake story, but printed the comment of Eddy Truell, for whom the potential demise of the Pension Protection Fund meant his consolidation vehicle was back in business.
While Ed saw the moment of Superfund’s greatness flicker, the trade press (with notable exceptions such as the FT) piled in behind. The story could be summed up as
“The PPF was holed below the waterline as the EC judgement demanded it pay benefits to all its members at 100% of the levels promised by the originating schemes.”.
Then the awful truth dawned.
— Josephine Cumbo (@JosephineCumbo) December 20, 2019
The British press had been sold a dummy and had put through their own net. The story SKY and they had printed – and which Eddy had gloried in – was a load of tosh – lost in translation from the original pronouncement (in German).
Nothing to see here.
No really… there was nothing to see.
The #pensions industry is safe.
— Mike Harrison (@HigherEdActuary) December 20, 2019
I suspect a lot of journalists were not as honest as James and that the twitter cutting room is littered with deleted tweets with #pensions hashtags.
*Fake news* of fatality, wake up to reality
It turned out that the EC was only requiring the PPF (and other lifeboats) to top people up to a minimum “poverty” level of £10,000 pa. The number of PPF members who won’t have outside income (state pension) sufficient to get to the poverty level is very small and while this and the Hampshire ruling , will make the job of super-pouting PPF ops supremo Sara Protheroe a little more exacting, the net impact on PPF solvency will be a lot closer to £0m.
News of the death of PPF has been somewhat exaggerated.
News from the source please!
This PPF story is a salutary lesson for journalists relying on newsfeeds for their story. Check your primary sources – journos… or risk ignominy!
So it’s Christmas and we’ll all have forgotten this in the new year. But had the PPF been a stock, it could have seen some pretty violent trading yesterday. There would have been big winners and losers and you can be sure that the losers would not have been as forgiving as Mike Harrison !
And for those unfamiliar with the oeuvre of Poly Styrene and X Ray Spex, here (without adverts) is her top of the pops performance of the original “The day the world turned day-glo”.