Today, Friday 10th June, marks Guy Opperman as joint longest tenant of the post of Pensions Minister. Tomorrow he will succeed Steve Webb as the longest serving pensions minister.
When Guy Opperman became Minister for Pensions and Financial inclusion in 2017, oine of his first engagements was to meet and greet friends of TPAS (of which I was one). He gave us a short speech, off the cuff and with some brio- saying that he had taken the job because he wanted it, that he didn’t see it as a stepping stone and that he wanted to keep it.
At the time I didn’t believe him but I do now. While he does not have the deep understanding of the state pension and benefits system as SteveWebb, he is someone who thinks on behalf of pension savers and is perhaps the first minister since John Denham, who puts DC member outcomes at the top of his list of priorities. Which has made him both popular and reviled, depending on what you think a pensions minister ought to be doing.
Maria Espidanha has written a very good piece that focusses on this and I urge you to read it.
— Maria Espadinha (@Maria_Espadinha) June 9, 2022
I am pleased that she has included her thoughts on his work “so far”, he has much to do to realise his vision of a better engaged public making better financial decisions about their pension. Over the next three years we will see how the pension dashboard, CDC, the choice architecture of decumulation and the progress towards a VFM standard, play out. I think he is moving in the right direction.
He came out strongly this week in support of the Prime Minister
The PM has my support as we collectively address these issues post covid; that means levelling up, enhanced pension saving, better education / skills and real conservative policies both to grow our economy and look after the most vulnerable in our society 2/
— Guy Opperman (@GuyOpperman) June 6, 2022
The Minister is lucky to have a strong wife in Flora, they have been through much together, we have lived much of this together as he likes to share his life on social media.
I would very much like to meet the Minister’s dog- Zola, who was a candidate for parliamentary dog of the year (though I haven’t seen any results for this obscure award).
Some personal favourites include Guy Opperman’s fox red lab Zola, Luke Evans with whippets Ada and Roux, Elliot Colburn’s golden retriever Lola and Sarah Owen’s border terrier Herman pic.twitter.com/r7V27C6OcE
— James Heale (@JAHeale) October 7, 2021
He is clearly worried about his weight. He needs to find something to compliment his dog-walking in Northmberland – while in Westminster.
Because we want this Pension Minister to be a pensioner, something he is rather more likely to be than his prognosis back in 2011
Today I went back with him to find out what makes this world-class centre for treatment and research so special. pic.twitter.com/u41sJ9Lmiq
— Sajid Javid (@sajidjavid) May 4, 2022