Influencing people to be proud of their pension

I was struck by a tweet from Martin Lewis yesterday

The video is here

@martinlewismse Employee aged 16 to 74 earning over £6,240/yr? How to ensure you don’t give away a hidden payrise! From #ITVMartinLewisMoneyShow ♬ original sound – Martin Lewis

The first thing

There is no-one in pensions that is listened to by Martin Lewis, and he’s not in pensions. How can this be?

Well let’s start with Martin’s image

It’s a simple statement – if he was a trustee – he’d be saying “I’m not conflicted” – but he’s not a trustee.

What Martin Lewis says, and the way he says it, is totally independent of the people in pensions who try to influence us to spend money their way.

So when Martin Lewis says we should spend money their way, people listen and pass the message on.

The second thing

Let’s look at that second statement from Martin Lewis’ tweet

It’s very rewarding to see that audience watching about pensions, hope it’ll hit a million views like some of the other recent ones.

That’s an interesting statement that speaks to his anxiety about doing a program about pensions. We know, because he has spoken about it at PLSA events and elsewhere, that Lewis finds it hard to explain pensions for all the reasons I write about. They aren’t simple – their taxation is messy and they don’t provide what they say they do (at least not the DC ones).

So to get people agreeing that it is a good thing to be in a workplace savings plan where you are getting a hidden pay rise is an achievement. To get one million to do so (or even 70,000 in the first hour) suggests that there is a latent desire from ordinary people to do well out of being auto-enrolled.

The watches and the likes and the sharing of that video are doing something for pensions now, that may never have been done before. People are beginning to become proud of their pension.

Take notice

Go back to the Martin Lewis Tik-Tok video and read the comments. They are all about the phobias people have about pensions

  1. The pension age keeps going back- I’ll never get mine?
  2. Can I get a workplace pension as well as my state pension?
  3. What will my money be worth in 40 years time?
  4. I’ve opted out as I can’t afford to pay the 5%
  5. And if I die before pension age!?
  6. Or I have too much money for any state assistance when needed towards the end of my life.
  7. Do you pay tax when you pay it in. Then pay tax on the money when you start getting it back. So essentially paying tax on the same money twice.
  8. yeah no thanks. put it in an isa. you dont pay tax to get it back . doesn’t bother me I won’t get employer contribution
  9. I can choose how much I do and have no idea what I should be doing!!
  10. I’m 32. self employed and have absolutely no idea when it comes to pensions or where to start.

These comments may not be of much interest to pension experts but they are a lot of interest to Martin Lewis who is found on the comments stream , correcting falsehoods and putting people right where they’ve misunderstood.

That level of commitment is not typical among the most influential

Why is Martin Lewis so influential?

  1. He tweets about money, something we are all interested in
  2. He focusses on bargains – money for nothing or at least at a discount
  3. He explains things clearly , without insulting his audience
  4. He sticks to his arguments and stands his ground
  5. He is seen as independent (by most).

There is some trolling of Lewis on the feed, but very little (one comment suggests that Lewis is being paid by the Government to get us to save). There is some trolling of pensions too. But the comments run to hundreds and when I looked this morning the views are over 250,000.

We have probably seen more engagement in workplace pensions from one TV program and a few minutes of Tic-Toc video than has been achieved by the financial education programs of the pensions industry all month!

And the message has been entirely positive. What is there not to like to have Martin Lewis influencing people to save more into workplace pensions?

If , as I think is happening, people are becoming proud of being in the saving habit, then the financial well-being of the nation is taking a turn for the better and we should be proud too! Things got to a low point around 20 years ago, they are getting better now and they will get better as we bring in pensions dashboards, CDC style pensions and investments that make our money matter.

But for all this to happen, we need the confidence in pensions that Martin Lewis is helping to restore.

And finally

This is for a trustee friend of mine who had a leak in her house last week.

@martinlewismse Do you know where your stopcock is?!? 😳🤔💦 #MartinLewis #LearnOnTikTok ♬ original sound – Martin Lewis

Seems like a good message for DC trustees too!

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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1 Response to Influencing people to be proud of their pension

  1. Yeah, pensions is the new Rock ‘n’ Roll! What happened to Pensions Rocks? You was robbed!

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