Once B&CE ran the most popular stakeholder pension in Britain- it was called EasyBuild and if you worked in the construction industry, you were probably in it. But Stakeholder Pensions didn’t really work, the guarantees on charges were expensive for insurers and when the market (including B&CE’s own People’s Pension) started offering more for less, the writing was on the wall for stakeholder pensions.
While other insurers have allowed their stakeholder pensions to sit unloved in the back cupboard, B&CE have been doing all they can to migrate their customers with stakeholder pensions, membership of People’s Pension. At its peak, EasyBuild, the name of B&CE’s stakeholder pension, had 470,000 members and 99% of them transferred either to People’s , another pension or cashed out in 2017. The remaining 900 or so members were ushered out by 31st March 2019 and that is – as they say – that.
Quite how Steve Delo (chair of the IGC and People’s Pension Master trust) manages to conjure 7 pages as a valediction is unclear. But he manages it with the help of his fellow committee members and their ample biographies.
The report does show how crazy transaction costs creep in when assets slip from billions to millions.
The lesson here is to get out while you can as you are taking big risks in a DC plan – if you are the last man standing.
I can’t really score this IGC report which is more a tombstone than anything else. It is well enough written, without melodrama. It confirms that while EasyBuilder offered VFM in time, it was overtaken by People’s Pension and it shows that the IGC acted in the policyholder’s interests by not standing in the way of change.
But were they really adding any value, I don’t think so. The report gets an amber for being there, but no more than an amber and no less!