Written by Stephen Fallowell, Committee member - written for Pensions Age June Edition
English is a living language adapting to changing times. Monitoring this change is the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) which makes additions and omissions of words and phrases from its Lexicon each year. During the Coronavirus pandemic a number of new phrases and words have emerged; Lockdown, Social Distancing, Self-Isolation, Flattening the Curve and the New Normal. Coronavirus itself is not a new word.
The financial and Pension industry is not immune to these linguistic changes with words and phrases such as; Furlong, Covenant leakage and Material Request.
There is one phrase that strikes a chord within the wider social context and also in the Finance and Pension industry; Equitable Treatment.
The lack of resources and inadequate planning within the Care Sector has been cruelly exposed within Care Homes with the public calling for ‘equitable treatment’ for all carers within the health and social sector.
The Pension Regulator has called for ‘equitable treatment’ for Pension Funds when companies consider suspending deficit payments and contributions.
This is also a moment when Pension Funds need to look at their own Equitable Treatment of their members, particularly in terms of State abatement, or clawback, which unfairly penalise the most vulnerable Pensioners.
So will we see Equitable Treatment or, as the crisis ends, will it be back to business as usual?
Let’s hope Equitable Treatment becomes the New Normal.