Dear Santa,

Despite the omens of approaching a year with the number ‘13’ in it, I am hopeful for the coming year and the opportunities for pension funds. Last year I asked for Eurozone Resolution, Lower Volatility and strength for pension funds to Act on Opportunities in my letter to you. I even dropped my tennis lessons with Rafael Nadal off the list, in the hopes of those wishes coming true.

I guess you thought I wasn’t a good boy last year, though, because I didn’t really get any of the items on my list. I suppose it was a bit greedy of me to ask for all three. You did give some of the third item, though, and allowed some key pension funds to take advantage of opportunities presented to them. For that, I’m grateful.

This year, I’ve learned my lesson and my wish list is much smaller. I’ve also been very good this year so I’m hopeful that you’ll bring me what I ask. I request only a few small things:

Pension Funds Achieving their Goals with Less Risk

Pension funds have been hit so hard for the last few years. There has seemed to be no respite from quaking markets and dearth of political bad news. Thankfully, there’s a silver lining and new opportunities that give pension funds the protection they need from liability-matching, as well as the upside from growth assets, have appeared! This year, I hope for more opportunities like this for pension funds, so they can achieve their goals with less risk.

The Overhaul of GenY’s Saving Ethos (or lack thereof)

The pensions industry’s problems worsen as time marches on and the next generation fails to pay attention to the real problems. Even if we solve the problems of pensions today, we still face the abyss of the next generation’s lack of preparation and long lives. Gen Y doesn’t save, nor does it know how to invest. Why? When we are in the situation we are in now, despite auto-enrolment, why isn’t Gen Y, who will live longer and require more financial assistance, being urged and educated in the art of planning, saving and investing for retirement? This year, I wish for members of Gen Y proper financial education, and an investment solution that works for their savings. I would be happy to help with this one, you don’t have to do it all on your own.

An iPad Mini

They really are, so cool.

I really think I’ve been much better this year, please don’t penalise me for jumping off the Shard, it was in the name of charity I wasn’t just being mischievous.

Yours expectantly,

Rob Gardner, Age 34


Author: Robert Gardner

Robert is Co-Founder and Non Executive Director at Redington Ltd. He started his career at Deutsche Bank before joining Merrill Lynch in 2003, working as Director in their Insurance and Pensions Solutions Group. In 2008, Robert also co-founded Mallowstreet, the online pensions community which continues to grow with presence and support from the industry. Robert is passionate about the impact of social media on business believing that education, collaboration and contributions are the best way to tackle pension challenges. In January 2019, Robert joined St. James's Place Wealth Management as Director of Investments.