What is the campaign to make pensions less boring?
By guest author John Fox, director Liberty SIPP
As well as a blatant attention grabbing catchphrase, it is an attempt to get the message out that pensions aren’t necessarily mind-numbing and that while thoughts of growing old aren’t at the forefront of most people’s mind and can be a bit of a turn off – you’ve got to do something; nobody is going to do it for you and its quite clearly not safe anymore to say “well my home is my pension” when we’ve all seen the arse fall out of the housing market.
There is a way to build up a pension fund that is tax efficient and when clients realise (I’ve seen the penny drop on many occasions) that they can invest in assets that they understand and have a working knowledge of, developing a fund for their retirement can be quite fun.
We feel that people have been somewhat brainwashed / subconsciously drugged by the “old” pensions industry to think “well I don’t want to think about growing old but there’s a nice man over there who I can give my £100 a month to – he quite clearly knows what he is doing, I can trust him and the big insurance company he works for” – Equitable Life anybody? What about this one – Life companies heavily and lazily skewed towards the FTSE or who have put money into property funds which have suddenly become illiquid simply because the portfolio wasn’t diverse enough? Nobody saw the credit crunch coming but there were too many eggs were in too few baskets not to take a sizeable hit.
Put quite simply people have been there, done that, been let down and are now looking for something else – and they want to do it themselves.
For too many years clients have had low expectations about their pensions; they’ve put too much trust in the dinosaurs of the pension world making investments for them and effectively crossing their fingers, hoping for the best and only finding out once a year how their fund has performed – it doesn’t have to be this way.
Our clients are able to work with us and their advisors to put together a pension portfolio on their terms, at their direction and within their comfort zone.
We want to dispense with the historic haze of confusion that has been encouraged to obfuscate fees, narrow options and make the customer think that their pension doesn’t belong to them.
Participation, accessibility and simplicity is the way forward and boredom is replaced with added interest.