2 mins with… Gregg McClymont, Head of Retirement Savings, Aberdeen Asset Management
Ahead of the launch tomorrow of MRM’s report assessing the role of the workplace in closing the savings gap, we quiz participant Gregg McClymont, Head of Retirement Savings at Aberdeen Asset Management.
You recently took part in a debate hosted by MRM (which is about to be launched as a report). What aspects of the debate interested you most?
The wealth of experience present in the form of my co-panellists and the extent of agreement around the table on the priorities for workplace savings.
During the debate, you came down on the side of the employer, arguing for greater incentives for them. Could you expand on this further – specifically, what sorts of incentives they could be offered?
The current pensions’ tax relief system incentivises employers effectively via relief on pensions’ contributions and the wider salary sacrifice mechanism. More broadly, a period without regulatory change would encourage employers to continue to offer beyond the basics pensions.
You joined Aberdeen as Head of Retirement last year, following a stint as the shadow pensions minister. How are you adjusting to life outside parliament?
I’m enjoying it. No more midnight votes or mad dashes to and from the airport at a minute’s notice to attend a vote. But I do miss many of my colleagues – good people doing a tough job. It was a privilege to represent my home town for five years.
You’ve had a busy few months, recently publishing your latest book, “Towards a new pensions settlement: the international experience”. Could you give us a quick overview and how it feeds into the pension reform debate?
In a world of low investment returns, squeezing every penny of value out of a pension scheme is crucial and that this is best achieved by large pension schemes which enjoy economies of scale. Call it the Canadian model!
If you could change one thing about the financial services industry, what would it be?
I would ensure those working in the industry communicated in a language that everyday people understand.
What is your biggest pet peeve, or makes you angry?
Now, tell us a little about your life outside of work, do you have any hobbies?
I continue to play football badly twice a week; I was in the dim and distant past a historian and I try to read one new book a week in my discipline (British History in the nineteenth and twentieth century).
What is the one column or website that you read every day?