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Pick up a Penguin

I loved seeing the holiday snaps of a friend who has just returned from Cape Town. He had many pictures of the penguins on Boulders Beach, which were wonderful close up shots of these birds with big personalities.

Penguins and Pensions have many shared characteristics; possibly the reason why Pension Insurance Corporation have a Penguin as its logo (or maybe the passion of the founder!).

  • Penguins have a double camouflage – the white belly reflects in the same way as water from the deep sea and the black back cannot be seen looking out at the surface of the sea.
  • Penguins look ungainly as they waddle on land but are graceful swimmers.
  • Penguins cannot fly because the anatomy required for flying would make them poor divers and diving is more important for their survival.
  • Penguins are not scared of humans. This is thought to be the fact that many penguins are mainly found in Antarctica or nearby where they have no land predators so they have not had anything to fear in the past.

Pensions are just like penguins:

  • Defined contribution schemes have a double camouflage; they can provide a guaranteed income for life or they can provide flexibility of access to money as and when you need it in retirement.
  • Legacy pensions can appear ungainly and complicated but this is because some of these legacy products have some very graceful attributes such as guaranteed investment returns and/or guaranteed annuity rates.
  • Pension benefits cannot do everything; a defined benefit scheme is a fantastic vehicle for providing a guaranteed income in a set format and a defined contribution scheme offers flexibility on the income – you cannot do both.
  • People are not planning for their retirement because in the past they have not had to…….but they may have to in the future.

We recently completed a customer survey. We asked our customers why they had not sought guidance in the past. A significant number of the respondents related to feelings of anxiety and feeling overwhelmed or afraid by not knowing what questions to ask or not being able to understand the answer.

If you are someone who has a question on pensions but are afraid to ask, please speak to a TPAS guider, who are as friendly as penguins.

Please “pick up a penguin”!

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