“A word in your ear about pensions, Jeremy”



“Jeremy, as your new number two, I’m supposed to be getting my feet under the table right now, but I couldn’t help noticing you have an autumn statement to make next week and since I didn’t get my pension bill, I wondered if I could have a bit of your Finance Act?

It’s all been a little frustrating these past six months, what with all those consultations and though the pension people are a little tedious, they do mean well, So can I have ten minutes of your time?

I can! – thanks!

Royal Mail’s CDC plan

A little one first. you probably know I’m a fan of CDC and we;ve got our first fish on the line – Royal Mail. But if we aren’t careful, it will be the one that got away. I understand the snag is to do with tax, can I have a word with HMRC and see if we can get a tweak to tax law so that the scheme can go ahead as planned in April?

Salary sacrifice for public sector AVCs

The people who run the NHS trusts tell me that our tax people are telling them they oughtn’t to be running AVC schemes using salary sacrifice (like they do in Local Government). I don’t see this as logical or fair and it looks like bureaucrats getting overly protective of the public purse. Is it ok if I pop down to HMRC and calm things down?


For most of my short time in Government , I’ve been told superfund bad, insurance good. But it turns out that superfunds are important to our Mansion House reforms and we’ve made it so hard for them, that all we’ve got to show for five years of consulting and legislating and regulating is one superfund who are just providing a waiting room before the insurers perform major surgery, Can we please make it clear to the BOE and PRA that we are actually pro superfunds?

Reverse transfers

Do you remember all the trouble we had with steelworkers swapping pensions for SIPPS and how we got the FCA to  promise them a restitution scheme? Well we’ve found an occupational scheme that wants to do reverse transfers and offer pensions in return for pots (at rather better rates than annuities). The trouble is the PRA keep telling everyone that pensions are annuities and that occupational schemes shouldn’t be doing what we’ve been asking them to do, can I sort this out and let the steelworkers have another option?

Investment trusts

I know Ros Altmann and Sally Bowles have been banging on about this in the Lords, but they are actually right. We’ve got in a right pickle about costs disclosures for investment companies to a point where their shares are depressed and they can’t market themselves on the platforms our pension funds and pension savers use. I know you’re on the case but can we please have something on this in your autumn statement?

Oh and one more thing – inheritance tax

I gather you are looking to cut IHT. If you are wondering  where to find the money – include pension pots in “inheritable wealth”. You might find that does the trick, getting people spending them!

Thanks boss!

Thanks for listening and thanks for taking a few notes. If it’s alright by you, I’ll nip off now and get these little pension errands sorted out before our next session on the PPF consolidator thing.

I know I’ll be getting a bit of stick on the way round from” the friends of the ABI ” but hey – they’ll get over their sense of entitlement.

And if they do kick up rough about financial risk, I’ll remind them who was behind those pooled LDI funds that nearly blew the lot of us up last November.

There’s only one Guido !

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 “A word in your ear about pensions, Jeremy”

  1. John Mather says:

    Why is the UK struggling to attract foreign direct investment?
    See FT article with same title

    Is the nudge to pensions trying to fill this gap for the DMO?

    The British Steel issue
    Step one
    Move assets to SIPP with hindsight held in cash or invested into a sensible diversified portfolio be better than staying put
    Step two
    Is it the investment choice that was the failure fueled by greed and ignorance?

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