Airlines, actuaries, sheep and pensions administration

David Davison

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As I stood with hundreds of other sheep at 6.00am this morning waiting to board my favourite low cost airline a number of thoughts struck me:

1. How good we British are at queuing and shuffling
2. How there is now even a class system in airline queues
3. What a great job my PA had done in getting me a really cheap flight before I tripled the cost by having to re-book last minute as a result of an unexpected change to my meeting arrangements
4. For how much of my day will I be relying on something that was bought for the lowest possible price

Now undoubtedly the last point is the most worrying when you’re just about to set foot on something that’s going to career along at hundreds of miles per hour thousands of miles above the ground but it was probably more related to a bit of work I was contemplating doing when I finally reached my pen (I mean seat!!).

Whilst some strategic cost cutting to win a bit of pensions work is possibly not quite as fraught with danger as airline travel (although BA might disagree!!) it will invariably have a similar impact on quality in the end and an outcome not dissimilar to my experience with number 3 above, namely having to pay considerably more in the end to fix what I thought I’d got for a bargain to start with.

We’ve written a lot in this blog about the cost/quality relationship in pensions administration, (“Pensions administration – the devil is in the data“) and the lack of value placed on scheme record keeping and hopefully there’ll be a drive for value and suitability, not just a continuing downward pressure on cost. Otherwise when you really need to find some quality it might not be there.

But then all in all who cares – as I got a window seat!!

David Davison

Post by David Davison

Specialist consultant on pensions strategy for corporate, public sector and not for profit employers

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