Guest blog spot: the one and only Mr Steve Bee, pensions guru extraordinaire
There’s a new word, wrdnx, which is kind of hard to pronounce, but sounds a bit like wardinks I suppose. Wrdnx shouldn’t be confused with wrdxn even though they do look similar (although they don’t sound anything like each other of course). Indeed, any confusion between the two would be simply hilarious if you think about it. I mean, can you imagine someone saying ‘I’ve got to invest £5,000 in my HCB or I’ll miss out on my wrdxn for the year’ when they obviously meant to say ‘I’ve got to invest £5,000 in my HCB or I’ll miss out on my wrdnx for the year.’ Like, what a gaffe that would be – or what? It would sound just so stupid, just like the kids in my first French class at school who used to say the first thing they did when they got up in the morning was to comb their horse; I mean, what a laugh. That used to really crack me up.
But people these days just don’t get it do they? Let’s face it plenty of them wouldn’t even know the HCB limit has gone up to £5,000 let alone understand the application of wrdnx. To be honest for most of them they had may as well think they’ve got a wrdxn limit for all the good it would do them. I know you shouldn’t say that, but if people are financially illiterate there’s no real hope for them; is there?
I was explaining this to my wife the other day when I was saying that the PADA won’t be delivering PAs after all (PAs, for those of you who aren’t up to date on pensions right now is the re-named NPSS, natch!). Anyway I was explaining that the PADA are actually going to deliver the NEST after all that. I mean, that in itself is weird I’d say and plenty of us in the industry have had a laugh or two about the irony of it. But being serious for a moment it would help, I think, if people were simply told that the NEST is nothing other than a QWPS. To my mind, that would at least give Joe and Josephine Average a half chance of getting their heads around it. But it’s not going to happen, is it? Not in our lifetime anyway.
My wife said she didn’t think that people are financially illiterate at all and that, on the contrary, she thought that it was more likely to be the people in my industry (financial services, in case you haven’t guessed so far) who are literally illiterate. Apparently, our industry is run by a priesthood which, like all other priesthoods in her opinion, has developed its own language to keep the uninitiated at bay and to create an aura of mystery around the, again in her view, boringly ordinary things we actually do. (I know, but it is what she thinks so I can’t laugh or anything; I sort of have to pretend to be taking it all seriously and all, like it’s some sort of valid point or whatever.)
The thing is, if you take that kind of crazy non-joined-up thinking to its extreme you’d end up concluding that the financial services industry is so caught up in its own stupid language that industry insiders can only communicate with one another in an intricate code of their own making. If that were true we’d be completely unable to explain things to outsiders and people would be so confused about our products they simply wouldn’t want anything to do with them.
That is patently not the case; the amount of money tied up in QWURP is a testament to that I’d say. QED. Nuff said. Etc. Etc.