There aren’t many reasons for the Pensions Pro to be cheerful these days
A rain lashed Friday night. Everybody else had left, home to families or in the pub. Only the Pensions Pro remained, sat at his desk. He loosened his tie and kicked off his shoes. He opened a drawer and pulled out a bottle of Scotch. Lagavulin: 16 years old. He poured three fingers of the whisky. Swigged it back. Placed the glass on the table - next to the gun.
He lifted the revolver, opened it up. Brandishing a single bullet, he slid it into one of the six chambers and spun the cylinder. Three decades of work in pensions had now taken him to the very edge.
Why do I spend my time talking about different ways of saving to people who have spent all their money
He placed the gun to his temple. “Why do I spend my time talking about different ways of saving to people who have spent all their money? Yet I never devote ANY time to finding ways for people to spend less. You can’t have saving without reduced spending but we pretend they are independent issues. It’s madness!” He squeezed the trigger – a simple click. The cylinder moved to the next chamber.
He pressed the barrel against his head. “Back testing! Hah! Has anybody ever presented back tested numbers that DON’T prove their point? It’s just self-supporting data mining and biased selection! Liverpool’s defence was hopeless at the weekend; I contend they won’t win the Premier League and back testing over the last 25 years proves it!” Pulls the trigger. Click.
They might as well talk about prunes layered on prunes as a reason not to pay up
He swigged from the glass. “Why has no finance director ever said: ‘Independent covenant review? Cracking idea!’ or ‘Of course we can afford the level of contributions you are after’ or ‘I’d prefer a shorter recovery plan than that!’ Naw – never! They just moan about prudence layered on prudence. They might as well talk about prunes layered on prunes as a reason not to pay up.” Trigger. Click.
More Scotch. Slurring. “SIMPLIFICATION?! Hah! None of this stuff is simple! We’ve created more tranches to benefits than I’ve had hot dinners. And then we blame the poor old administrators who have to deal with this chaos for not being able to turn around a benefit quotation in five days. It took less calculation routines to get Apollo 13 back to Earth! Houston (hic!) we have a problem!” Squeeze. Click.
Two chambers left. Another swig to steel his nerves.
Member understanding of DC? Gimme a break! Why keep kidding ourselves that members give two hoots
“Member understanding of DC? Gimme a break! Why keep kidding ourselves that members give two hoots and that we can explain this stuff in a way that will interest any sane person? Now we are meant to engage with DC members to find out what they want. I know what they want: their DB pension back! And if they can’t have that, they want an investment that goes up in line with the stock market in the good times and doesn’t go down in the bad times. The cosmic truth is that pretty much EVERYBODY defaults and always will. And (hic) I’m fed up with being told the Australians are so smart at this!” Trigger - click.
One chamber. One bullet. “GMP equalisation! We’ve tortured every administrator in the country to reconcile GMPs with HMRC. Now they want to (hic) equalise them! In the scale of world priorities, it is probably near the bottom, one notch below the government compelling the original members of Showaddywaddy to reform for a comeback tour. Why are we even talking about it? Bring back the Great Egg Race with (hic) Professor Heinz Wolff – thirty minutes to design a method to equalise a GMP! This is not for me. NO MORE!!!.” Trigger. BANG!
A blazing sun then he’s gliding across a crystal lake on a big yacht, surrounded by beautiful sea nymphs
White fluffy clouds. Flying through a tunnel towards a bright light. A blazing sun then he’s gliding across a crystal lake on a big yacht, surrounded by beautiful sea nymphs. “You are free of mortal concerns,” says one, offering a goblet of nectar. “Now the Captain will lead you on your true journey.” At the front of the boat, the Captain gracefully turns the wheel. He lifts his cap. “Never fear,” says Robert Maxwell. “You don’t get away from pensions that easily….”
Steve Delo is chief executive of Pan Governance