A number of pension experts and financial advisers were interviewed by the BBC1 show, Who Took My Pension, including Sam Instone, managing director of AES International, the London-based international financial services firm, and Hargreaves Lansdown pension expert Tom McPhail.
There was also reference to the deVere Group, and its chief executive, Nigel Green, as well as a shot of the cover of a recent edition of International Adviser, on which Green’s photograph appeared.
The job of explaining the pension industry’s rationale for taking the fees it does was left to Maggie Craig, acting director general of the Association of British Insurers.
At one point, the shrinkage of many poorly-performing British pensions was demonstrated by Instone and Panorama journalist Penny Haslam, who start out being driven in a stretch limo through the streets of London’s financial district.
After stopping at the offices of an insurance company, fund house and other entities down the pension product food chain, the limo is replaced by a series of smaller and smaller cars, until Instone and Haslam end up beside a rack full of London’s recently-introduced rental bicycles.
Towards the end of the show, David Pitt-Watson, a pensions expert and founder of the Hermes Focus Fund, one of the first-ever shareholder activist funds, noted that a typical Dutch citizen paying the same amount into a Dutch pension as his British counterpart would end up with 50% more in his pension pot.
To view the Panorama episode, click here.