Confound #covidiots; best practice in a time of crisis.

Do everything as good as this

best practice

It’s important that over the next few weeks, we don’t let standards slip. There’s a temptation for us to “shut up shop”, because others have to shut up their shops,

But business standards have to be maintained. After a brilliant wake up to money – with Micky Clarke ensuing that the program came from home, it was back to Rachel Burden who was left without a news bulletin. The BBC’s main current affairs program was unable to broadcast its 5 O’Clock news bulletin. This wasn’t a sign of the times so much as a sign of bad planning and incompetence. We’ll make allowances, of course we will, but this was not to the standard we expect of the BBC.

I got cross over the weekend with an organisation that promised a two for one offer for mother’s day. It was only available online but the banking verification service was broken, the email back up support service unhelpfully promised normal service would be delivered within two days. If you’re shutting up shop, put the sign “closed” over the offers.

Here are two examples of bad service where the customer has a right to feel short-changed. Neither has the slightest long-term importance, but if we allow sloppy standards to creep in, then avoidable accidents will happen.

Which brings me on to #Covidiots

I went for a walk with my partner on Sunday down to Greenwich, we walked the tow path down through Rotherhithe, it was a cloudless day and there were others out jogging or biking. People were extremely courteous, rarely did we get within 6 feet of others.

Somewhere around Greenland Quay I noticed a bunch of lads with a soccer ball sitting in a circle, they were passing a joint between each other. Five lads sucking from the same roach – come on guys.

There’s low standards and then there’s crass irresponsibility. I’m glad that social media is calling #covidiots.


When going out is right


We need to be careful not to demonise those who leave their doors. Millions will go to work this morning and they include all the essential workers in the NHS on whom our lives depend.

I got a call from a guy called Said at 10.30 yesterday (Sunday) morning. He invited me to go for a chest scan at UCH. I asked when, he said I could take my pick – I’m going today. Apparently people were not taking up the appointments they were offered for fear of leaving the house.

Said told me that he was having difficulty filling the appointment slots for essential appointments because people were reluctant to go to an imaging clinic. Having confirmed I have no symptoms of COVID19, I trusted in the NHS – who will be conducting the angiogram I’ll be having, to look after me.

We have to be brave and trust, finding ways of doing the things we are asked or promised to do. I was pleased to hear that blood donations were only 15% down last year, bravo to the 85%.

Covid19 may be the number one threat but other conditions can kill us. When we see people on the streets, we shouldn’t think covidiot, they may be off to save their or our lives.  While we are home-working , many are out there making sure our broadbands work and yes – those news broadcasts arrive on time! The fresh food we buy from the supermarkets has to be picked



And in pensions too…

The day to day business of administering a pension scheme is essential. Pensioner payrolls must run, contributions must be paid, recorded and money allocated to units in a timely fashion. Lump sum benefits must be calculated and paid as soon as possible.

The day to day business of pension schemes is supporting the most vulnerable groups to the pandemic, those in senior years for whom the pension is the only source of income.

No promise for the pensioner other than the pension itself. For advisers, now is the time to ensure that those in drawdown are aware of the risk of unit encashment at this time. Laughingly referred to (in good times), as “pound cost ravishing”, the full payment of drawdown from units encashed from invested funds has serious sequential risk, especially to those in the early years of drawdown.

Reassuring clients who have seen pension pot values slashed is critical. Trustees , IGCs, GAAs and financial advisers need to be close to clients today and throughout the coming weeks.

Now is the time for us to step up to the plate and do the right thing by those whose money keeps us in jobs.

Letting standards slip at this time is not acceptable. It is least acceptable of all from those or us lucky enough to have our health and have control of other’s wealth.


About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
This entry was posted in coronavirus, pensions and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply