“Big Zuu – Why can’t I save for my pension in crypto ?”

Edward Siedle   https://www.linkedin.com/in/edward-siedle-48643718/

My AgeWage and Pension Play Pen linked in group has some wonderful members, including Edward Siedle author of this extraordinary article published in Forbes magazine  this week.

This is a serious question being asked by serious commentators in one of America’s leading publications. The answer is not as obvious as most readers of this blog would expect.

Siedle sees American public pensions as

a massive pot of money notorious for attracting the wolves of Wall Street, including fund managers and financial advisors who exploit regulatory gaps and vulnerabilities in plan administration to enrich themselves at the expense of pensioners.

The article suggests that US public sector pension managers  are “the dumbest investors in the room“.

By comparison , Crypto currency is managed on the Blockchain,  in a transparent way that inspires the confidence of a new generation of savers who have grown up with technology which they see as empowering rather than threatening?

Blockchain, simply described, is a new way to keep track of small details, and it solves a lot of problems we have with our current data management systems, especially where data privacy and security are concerned

Cyptocurrency is now a mainstream investment for 20% of UK adults.

Nearly one in five UK adults own cryptocurrency, with almost half – 45% – buying it for the first time in 2021.

Research suggests the UK’s cryptocurrency ownership levels is similar to other European countries, such as Germany and Ireland. Of those that do not own any cryptocurrency in the UK, 49% said they would like to learn more or buy it in the next year, with the majority (55%) being women.

The 2022 Global State of Crypto Report, which surveyed 29,293 adults globally – with 2,300 of those people based in the UK, found that the average cryptocurrency investor was aged 36. London had the highest crypto ownership at 23%, tailed by the North West at 12%, and South and East Anglia both at 11%.

The most popular reason to invest in cryptocurrency, cited by 80% of respondents, was for long term gains compared to 40% who are trading for a profit.

Over half (52%) of UK cryptocurrency investors think crypto is a good way to diversify their portfolios. The most common cryptocurrencies are Bitcoin (69%) and Ethereum (33%).

In case you think that a Crypto platform would say that – here’s the Guardian in August this year

The number of UK adults who hold cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin has risen to an estimated 2.3 million, despite warnings from regulators and the head of the Bank of England that people should be prepared to lose all their money.

Research by the Financial Conduct Authority also revealed that almost 20% of buyers said they were driven by a fear of missing out, while one in seven were going into the red to finance their cryptocurrency purchases.

The typical profile of investors was “largely male, over 35 and [in the] AB social grade”, said the FCA.

Amid evidence that a new breed of mainly younger DIY investors are putting their money into the likes of bitcoin, ethereum and Ripple, the FCA conducted detailed research in January which concluded that cryptocurrencies “appear to have become more normalised”, with fewer of those investing regarding them as a gamble, and more as a legitimate alternative asset.

For 2,3m UK savers, Crypto is mainstream , it is a part of the financial ecosystem, it is transparent and trusted – but it plays no part in pensions, why?

Pension Awareness?

Tomorrow is the start of a week when we hope to increase “Pension Awareness”,

Many people of my children’s age invest in crypto currency as a store of wealth, they might be asking the very question Edward Siedle’s article is asking.

They may ask about the very issues that the Forbes article points to, the admittance of Shadow Banking into pensions, through LDI ,Private Equity, Private Credit and through the use of synthetic equities and gilts to maintain positions through derivatives of real assets.

They might point to the reluctance  of our pension schemes to put our data on pension dashboards for us to see.

They might ask why no pension scheme in the UK has committed to putting its record keeping on the block chain.

What answer do we have for them?

Is big Zuu a pension stooge?

The ABI and PLSA are employing Big Zuu to sell the merits of pensions to people like him. He’s using  the same arguments I was trotting out when I was in my twenties.

Big Zuu’s  savvy enough to work out that grime and cooking get you attention , he seems happy enough to be the ABI and PLSA’s stooge

But  I’m quite sure, when he isn’t checking out his bank balance that Big Zuu will be considering Crypto as an investable for his retirement.

If we are so keen to get younger people pension aware, why don’t we let them own crypto-currency in their pension? Why don’t we offer them pension schemes which use block chain technology they can trust?

Or are we just gong to preach from the hymn sheets we published fifty years ago?


Why do we insist on pensions being on our terms?

The ABI and the PLSA are setting the agenda for Pensions Awareness Week, they represent the vested interests of the pension industry.

We are telling younger people that if they want to invest using tax advantaged savings wrappers, they need to do our way.

Who gave us that monopoly? Why do we insist on pensions being on our terms?

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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