It has been around five months since I dove head first into the world of pensions journalism and I can’t believe that it is nearly Christmas already. To say that time has flown by would be an understatement.
I started as a complete novice, having worked previously in commodity market reporting, but managed to pick things up quickly under the tutelage of the talented journalists around me, whose enthusiasm for the industry was infectious from day one.
From the outside looking in, the world of pensions does not fill most people will excitement. I know, because I was one of those people, but after just a few days I realised the dynamism and importance of the industry that my colleagues were so enthusiastic about.
So much has happened during my short time in pensions. Modernisation is underway and sorely needed, and I have been very lucky to be able to witness the evolution first-hand.
The industry is primed to improve member engagement, especially amongst young people, and I’ve found it a subject that is very easy to get passionate about.
When I first started, it seemed as if the pensions dashboard was on the verge of being swept under the carpet and forgotten about. Even with my limited experience, I thought this was a major step backwards, as I know the apathy felt by young people and believe could be reduced if the industry was able to adopt modern technology and simplify the means of accessing data.
Thankfully, public and industry pressure has ensured its survival and covering the resurrection and feasibility study was one of the highlights of my early career.
I also had the pleasure of attending the PLSA Annual Conference in Liverpool, where the days were jam-packed attending and covering as many sessions as possible and the evenings were just as busy, meeting and networking with the movers and shakers of the pensions world.
Then, in November, we held our first Pensions Age Western conference, and I was tasked with covering the event. Although it was a daunting and new experience for me, I found myself loving the fast-paced nature of event coverage and was impressed by the speakers’ passion for progression within the pensions and investment landscape.
One of the key issues addressed was sustainable investment and ESG, which for me highlights the change that the majority of people want to see. It is clear that investment decisions cannot carry on the way they have in the past or the environment and economic longevity will suffer.
I also think that it ties in nicely with the efforts to engage younger people and the adoption of modern technology, which all suggest that the industry is ready to embrace the future of pensions.
Whatever the future holds for the pensions industry, I’m hope that I’m still here learning, researching and writing about a topic that affects everyone in the country.