The pension industry has discovered a new way to put the frighteners on, by calculating, with some accuracy they claim, the year of your death.
I’ve had a couple of press releases already from companies that serve the pension industry, happily telling me about a new service where I can skip along to see a nurse, take some basic tests (oh what fun) and they will tell me, with a big smile on their face, when I’m going to die. Fantastic.
That’s just wanted to know. Then I can mark it in my long term planner, not worry about global warming after a certain date, not care about that leaking tap and as for that bloke who I owe a tenner, he’s got x amount of years to find me.
The serious point is of course that people are living longer and its unlikely most pension pots will suffice to see them out. The argument goes that if you know the date, you can plan your money needs over the years you have left. Although, I would interested to know what happens if you time your pension perfectly, blowing the last part of the pot on a slap-up meal at the Savoy, only to find that out later that you haven’t died and might have years still to go. Perhaps by then the legal industry will have cottoned-on and day-time TV will be full of ads with the strap-line: ‘Did they get the day of your death wrong, call us now for justice!’
The other big downside is personalties like mine. It would be such a crushing blow to hear that yes, one day, I will be moved along to the head of the queue at the departure lounge gate, that I’d seize up as soon as I knew the date.
And what’s more, how long before the insurance industry, and others, insist on your going to see the death nurse before they will give you anything? ‘Sorry, sir, we can’t offer you that long-term deal on your Broadband, because you’re not going to be around for much longer.’
I’ve got a better strategy – I keep moving houses in the hope that the Grim Reaper has a worse record in finding my place than a courier company.