I don’t turn down the chance to sit in on a panel of the young and the good opining on improving D&I. But I admit that turning up at Travers Smith Braithwaite to find myself the only person over 35 in the room was unexpectedly daunting.
I held my nerve and had a nice cup of tea before sitting at the back with my phone and slido.
I’m not cynical about these events whatsoever . They do tell me that the next generation of pension lawyers , actuaries, scheme managers and consultants look to be taking care of themselves pretty well.
They are concerned about the rate of consolidation and what that means for opportunities as well they should.
They are not impressed that my generation got a DB pension and their generation got a DC pot.
I did notice a very talented young lady on the panel from the Pensions Regulator who I imagine does get a DB pension. I also remind myself that most partners of actuarial and legal firms are self-employed and have never had DB pensions.
But I do see that the warm glow of a wage for life DB pension – does not appear on many of their financial horizons. If any NextGen would like a bit of mentoring from this old codger, I’ll explain how to re-establish a pension system rather than a DC saving system.
Some of the best moments of the meeting involved semantics and in particular the analysis of Joe Craig of the language of middle aged men. We are , it seems, prone to use military metaphors in our discourse which gives us away as not being women (who don’t use military parlance – “call to arms” “line of duty”, “mentioned in dispatches” – that kind of thing).
I will have to watch what I say if I am to develop a counterfeit career as a young maiden or an old hag. Come to think of “hag” is almost certainly not the kind of word that I should be brandishing in Nextgen circles.
Another thing that I’m very bad at is writing down long lists of people who I should be thanking. So here goes
Thank you to Travers Smith for hosting us, to The Society of Pension Professionals for being our partners in the event and, of course, to all our panelists. You were amazing: Emily Goodridge, Sandisiwe Dhlamini (She/Her), Molly Broome, Laasya Shekaran and Joe Craig. Topped and tailed by the excellent Matt Dodds and Fred Emden. Chaired superbly by James Riley. Thanks too to the people who set up this paragraph which I cut and pasted out of linked in.
Superlatives abound and for good reason. I look forward to my dotage knowing I am in good hands. And I am delighted that for the first time in a long time , I was the diversity included in the room