Ignore the claims of a pensions washout

Having recently joined the pensions business, and with a background in packaged goods, I read your piece “Dousing the pensions fire” (MW December 15) with some interest. I’m pleased to report it feels somewhat less damp on the inside. They say perception is reality, however this feels like a case of the media hype having taken over and reality having got lost in the slipstream.

My first reaction on seeing your piece was “great – pensions are now sexy enough to be reported on the cover of Marketing Week”.

Making residential property available as an asset class within Self Invested Personal Pensions was seen as a significant opportunity for a few specialist financial advisers and for one very large insurance company quoted in your piece in particular. However, investing in residential property (and especially overseas property) would in reality have been appropriate to very few investors – most pensions investors are already quite heavily exposed to property.

“A day” – April 6, 2006 – offers a host of opportunities for providers, advisers and the public alike. Let’s work together to sell pensions planning as a marketing opportunity, at the same time helping consumers improve their retirement, rather than falling in with the rather hackneyed trail of bad news pensions stories.

Mike Hoban

Customer and brand marketing director

Scottish Widows

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