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Investing for the future – can you be bothered?


Having spent the last hour in a stakeholder pension consultation meeting I have to say that it is not one of the most exciting topics being spoken of in meeting rooms up and down the UK. However, the meeting I attended was technically correct, with a presentation made by a chap who knew the present and past legislation and was able to transform a straightforward dry presentation into something with a bit more oomph! to keep the afternoon stragglers awake.

Not everyone is maybe as fortunate as I have been today though. According to online broker Comdirect, seven times as many British workers are more interested in doing their work well than in investing in their own future through pensions.

The low priority comes despite the countdown clock starting for Stakeholder Pension provision, and the accompanying publicity. (All employers employing more than five staff have to make arrangements for the provision of Stakeholder Pensions by 8 October 2001)

Of 1,000 people questioned for Comdirect’s survey:

  • 21% said that thought that the most important aspect of daily life was doing well at work.
  • 20% said that eating healthily was most important whilst
  • 16% put their social life at the top of the list of priorities.
Further down the scale,
  • 7% said that watching the television was the most important aspect of daily life whilst
  • 5% said that looking good was the most important aspect.
  • 2% thought that having a good sex life was most important whilst
  • 1% said that exercise should be top of the list.

Investing for the future was rated as the top priority for 3% of the sample – just 30 out of the 1,000 questioned. Surprisingly, twice as many under-20s as over-50s were concerned about investing for the future.

HR Zone says: What can all of this tell us?

Well, maybe as a nation we are becoming so tied up in what we do that we forget why we are doing it. Our throw-away, instant access, instant gratification, channel-hopping society has a tendency to concentrate too much on the here and now rather than planning for the future. Too many of us rely on hope for the future without building that foundation on which to build. Maybe the world is changing, maybe people’s future income will all be taken care of in unexpected ways, but it wouldn’t hurt for more of us to think about why we go to work in the first place.

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