I am delighted to be part of an exciting new initiative that’s shaking up the world of pensions.
The Young Money Blog recently reported on the emergence of young voices on key decision-making boards (known as trustee boards) within the world of workplace pensions. I alluded to some work I was doing in this area – now, I can reveal all!
On Monday, I helped to launch the Next Generation Pensions Committee. Months of meetings, emails and amusing WhatsApp exchanges resulted in a lovely event at the Pensions Management Institute (rock ‘n’ roll!) where we spoke to a select crowd of supporters, media champions and other young folks interested in our work.
Why does this matter? Let me tell you…
It’s a little known fact that by 2020, half the world’s working population will be millennial or younger. And around 4.4 million millennials are being targeted for auto-enrolment into workplace pensions.
So we urgently need a pensions industry that works for young people.
To achieve this, we need to hear far more from young voices within the pensions industry.
Research consistently shows that organisations with diverse senior management innovate and make better decisions.
This is what our chair, Michael Watkins, has to say about it:
Groups exhibiting cognitive diversity ask more challenging questions and scrutinise advice; they come up with new ideas and bring a broader range of experiences and viewpoints to discussions. This is particularly important for the pension industry which tends to be populated by older male professionals, who don’t represent the diversity of scheme members or pension professionals.
Willis Towers Watson backs this up:
A range of studies have found that diverse groups are better decision-makers, and that a company’s gender balance and demographic diversity has a measurable impact on improved profitability.
Diversity is not just an issue of fairness or a woke box-ticking exercise – it’s a fundamental driver of innovation. In a recent study from the Harvard Business Review, more than 1,700 companies across the globe were surveyed and it was found that there is a statistically significant relationship between diversity and innovation.
But diversity of thought, inclusive debate and fresh ideas are only possible if we’re hearing from people across the adult age spectrum.
Enter the Next Gen Pensions Committee!
— Gareth Tancred (PMI) (@garethfmtancred) September 24, 2018
Around 20 young figures from across the pensions world have voluntarily come together to highlight the need for more young representation in an industry grappling with the “youth” challenge.
We want to see more support for young people entering the industry as well as those reaching the next stage of their careers. Among our goals, we’d like to see the next generation acting as trustees, being considered for independent governance committees and more executive positions, and taking part in crucial policy debate. We’re also want young talent to enter more industry awards, speak at events and conferences (particularly when young pensions issues are being debated) and feature far more in media coverage.
Policymakers and the industry need to give us more reasons to stay opted into workplace pensions, but that may not happen if high-level decisions are taken without our support and input. Young representation is crucial if we are to solve these big conundrums with more empathy, insight and intelligence. Whether it’s more diverse trustee boards or younger voices in the media, I am convinced that Next Gen could be a game changer for pensions – and the prospects of millions of young people – if big hitters get on board with our mission.
So if YOU are one of those big hitters, get in touch. We can give you the means to access a whole pipeline of promising talent. We can provide voices to speak about pensions issues in the media. And we can suggest young representatives for policy debate, which is sorely lacking the youthful touch ATM.
But we need you…and you need us! And if you’re a young person interested in the help we can provide, get in touch. We’ll be doing networking events, training, the whole shebang. We want to hear from you! And stay tune for more updates over time…go to nextgennow.co.uk!
The inaugural @NextGen_Pension event set out a bold ambition: to give younger people a louder voice in the pension industry and pension policy debates.
— George Currie (@GhwCurrie) September 24, 2018
Pictures courtesy of the PMI