Get comfortable with retirement – sort your shoebox of shame.

For “socks” read “pensions”

The pension statement season is back on the pension agenda and my friend Robert Cochrane at Scottish Widows is “reaching out” on social media..

This is all about annoying little phrases that stick like earworms in your brain.

We’ve had mid-life MOTs and now it’s time for a “pension stocktake” to work out what’s in the cupboard awaiting deployment in later life.

I think the AB may need some help with their messaging. Here are some marketing ideas for him and his colleagues.

“Take a pension stocktake, this pension statement season”

The internet tells me a  stock take will

  • show how much of my cash is tied up in stock
  • help me maintain a good cash flow

So here goes

  • Item; one state pension – latest value £185.15 pw – due November 2028 

  • Item two; company pension – latest value  £210 pw – payable now

  • Item three; the shoe-box of shame with all the scrappy statements of all the little pension savings pot I’ve started over the years. – latest value? – f*** knows

That’s what’s coming in – so what’s going out – what’s my cashflow requirement?

Current cash flow requirement to stop work and live off pension?

Haven’t a clue?

Note to self – click here and check out the PLSA Retirement Living Standards (soon to be updated with inflation running at 8%.+ 

Picture your future. Fancy being comfortable but £33,600 pa looks a stretch – better have a look in the shoebox of shame.

This is how it looks in my imagination.


Maybe that shoebox is full of hidden cash, but….

The Stocktake is frustrated

That shoebox of shame maybe jammed with £20 notes just waiting to materialise out of my pension pots. But I have no idea about these pots, all I’ve got are a few scrappy statements from when I still opened letters. The shoebox actually looks more like this

more likely

Let’s see now – NPI,  London and Manchester, Sun Alliance and the Porchester Group – WTF.

Note to self; visit ABI pension finder service  and track down lost life companies

abi – is there a problem with your link?

Let’s see now – what about that job I had at Debenhams when I started out – that had a pension

Note to self; track down company pensions via the DWP pensions

this service tells you who to contact at your former employer

Tough work tracking down all these pots and pensions!

Thinks.…wouldn’t it be great if I could just put my NI number, date of birth and inside leg measurement into a pension dashboard search thingie and get a list of all the (s)crap in the dashboard? Somebody should try that …

But let’s see if I can get all the people behind those scraps of paper just to promise me they’ll send me a statement of what’s in their/my pot some time in August so I have all my pension statements in one place.

But they’d have to know where to send them. Don’t they have my email address? Some of them think I still live in that bedsit in Fulham – wonder if it’s still standing.

Note to self, tell all these companies that look after my money

  1. What i’m called
  2. Where i  live
  3. Who gets the money if  i die (problem with my keyboard this morning)

Getting there

Note to wife/children/friends – clients?:-

“Don’t wait for the pension dashboard to arrive, life’s too short. Get to your shoebox, re-read your CV – find out which insurers have your money, work out which employers have your money – tell them you want them to write you, e-mail you – give you some information enough to work out whether you’re going to be comfortable for the rest of your non-working days!

The Pension Minister’s got an idea – we’re going to have a pension season when everyone’s going to do a pension stocktake and we’re all going to make our own personal dashboards and dream of a comfortable retirement. Once a year, every year – an extension of pension awareness day. Everyone sees it but its targeted at the over 50s.

The ABI have pledged £1m to tell us all about the Pension Minster’s idea and help us with the shoebox of shame.

I’m happy for them to spend £1m of the money i’ve paid them in charges telling me I can have my money back so long as they can tell me who has got the money and how I can have it back as part of by “get comfortable with retirement plan”.

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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2 Responses to Get comfortable with retirement – sort your shoebox of shame.

  1. John Mather says:

    State pension increase arrived this week ……

  2. John Mather says:

    Henry, you could ask your currently qualified Financial Adviser. Give him the shoe box and ask him to prepare a cash flow model. Research shows the advantage you would enjoy, typically equal to more than one comfortable year for a couple.

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