Pension Funds Insider

Pension Funds Insider brings the latest pensions news and industry insights; from investment and governance updates to new mandate appointments and pensions regulatory information.

Life is what happens while you are busy doing other things

Image for Life is what happens while you are busy doing other things pension funds

Peter Nicholas urges us not to let time pass us by and to grab the opportunity to learn, develop and be prepared for now and for the future. 

Growing older is unavoidable, time continues its relentless march as one year flows into the next - I can’t believe it’s 2018 already! It’s 6 years since the London Olympics! It’s 13 years since the announcement that London won the right to host the Games.

As an Australian I find it difficult to believe it’s a staggering 25 years since the announcement that Sydney was to host the 2000 Olympics.

Where have those 25 years gone? It seems like just a blink of the eye – and in that time fortunes have been made and missed. Just think, £50,000 in a pension pot, returning 8% p.a. and with no additional contribution, would have grown to around £340k over those 25 years. Of course, you needed to have the £50,000 to start with.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Our challenge, as an industry, is to communicate foresight.

This year my youngest child turns 18 and into adulthood. In some ways, this is a reason for celebration, it’s the first time in forever I don’t need to book leave in the school holidays, this alone should help boost my retirement savings.

Yet more importantly, how can I ensure my soon to be 18-year-old daughter doesn’t simply let time pass her by? Maybe the endless conversations about pension savings over the dinner table all her life (her mum is an independent trustee) will put her in good stead – albeit she regards anything pension as “money for old people”, and not particularly relevant to her.

Over the Christmas break I read a Facebook post from a friend of mine in Manitoba, Canada. He’s a physics teacher. Twice a year he leaves physics alone and teaches his final year students about savings, investments, mortgages and loans. Every year he gets the same response, “how come we never learn about this stuff before?”

So, what’s my point?

As time ticks by relentlessly we must develop a different perspective, particularly for millennials, or hindsight will continue to be a brutal teacher. It’s not pension savings, per se, we need to communicate, but rather an understanding of the saving continuum – debt (negative savings), short term savings for the stuff we want now and long-term savings to enable the lifestyle we want as we transition out of paid employment.

Today, in the UK we have a savings crisis. Our challenge, in 2018 while we are busy doing other things, is to create a savings culture.

Peter Nicholas, Managing Director & CEO, AHC.