Our Pension Play Pen linkedin group

I’m fascinated by how people come together in common endeavour.

When I stand at Yeovil Town and watch the away support arriving in their coaches and home supporters walking to the ground I get real goose-bumps of pride at the way six or seven thousand people can be so energised for a couple of hours “whether we’re up or down”.

I’d say the same about the various financial groups I am in, whether the 170 of us at First Actuarial, the Mallowstreet Community or the 4009 members of the Pension Play Pen Linked in Group I run.

For me a group is a club but within any club there are leaders who set the rules (spoken or unspoken) and do the majority of the donkey work. Others benefit from the work but the leaders get the kudos of recognition.

Every group I am a part of has an identity, the identity is the purpose, when the identity is lost, the group loses purpose and falls apart. Nobody but a messianic pedagogue expects their group to last forever though its amazing to see the survival of City Livery companies that have reinvented themselves time and time again to stay relevant to their times.

The Pension Play Pen has recently had its fourth birthday and has recently passed 4000 members. The identity of the group is “pensions” and its purpose is to restore confidence in pensions both within the group’s membership and outside its walls. It was not ever thus, I started the group in a pub near Warwick, the name coming to myself and Mariann Elliott (now at Spence then at Atkin & Co).

Then the purpose of the group was to allow those who wanted to communally enjoy sporting and cultural events, to do so without feeling beholden to a sponsor. We have been to the theatre and opera together, spent time on the river on Lady Lucy, enjoyed Football and Rugby matches and had some great time at the races, especially Cheltenham races for which we regularly hire a house for the duration of the Festival.

I am mos proud of the 50 London lunches we've held and the way lunch groups around the country carry this on.

But from this simple idea of avoiding corporate hospitality we have moved on, extending the idea to how we do business. Independent of any insurer or fund manager or employer of any kind, the Pension Play Pen is an organic entity comprising financial advisers, trustees, corporate managers ,solicitors and people who are just interested in finding out more about pensions.

The brand has been taken up by Pension Playpen Ltd which shares the same aim as the group but is a transactional site helping small employers to get pensions. It’s website is www.pensionplaypen.com. The Pension PlayPen as a company makes regular submissions to Government and is recognised by the DWP, tPR and Westminster as an informal lobbying group.

To a large extent it is its independence that gives its strength, it is hard to think what might be the group’s hidden agenda since it wears its heart so unerringly on its sleeve.

Want to do more than read? Compare pension now »