One year in Lockdown – a personal note

23rd March, 2021

  • 23 March 2020, Lockdown Day. Also my first day at Dalriada. Virtual induction, which I can only really describe as a little like Keanu Reeves in the Matrix, although I’m already a Black Belt in Ju-Jitsu, so I managed to skip that part of the programme.

    I haven’t met the vast majority of my colleagues, I haven’t met any of my co-Trustees or Sponsoring Employers, I haven’t even met the office security guard yet, but I’ve never been busier than I am now. At this stage, I genuinely have no idea how it will be possible to fit in travelling and commuting again.

    ‘Come and join Dalriada Paul. There are an increasing number of trustees and pension scheme members out there that need help and this trend is likely to continue.’ This may have been the understatement of the year. I have been genuinely staggered at the rate of change to adopt professional trustees as co-trustees and, increasingly, as the sole trustee. With criminal and civil sanctions included in the Pension Schemes Act 2021, this trend can only surely accelerate.

    Some aspects of the trustee modus operandi we have adopted and developed during the COVID-19 period have been really quite beneficial, including:

    • more frequent, but shorter, trustee meetings;
    • electronic signatures;
    • our e-Governance platform; and
    • an online facility where a defined benefits member can take retirement benefits in just four clicks – what a ‘Wake Up pack’ that is!

    My wife and I have been very successful at staying home, saving lives and protecting the NHS. Mrs T is actually applying to Rishi for a furlough performance related bonus, having achieved all three KPIs very admirably; I also seem to have achieved a reasonable amount.

    My personal development has included PMI exams, APPT accreditation and management responsibilities for a few (those that drew the short straw obviously) of our 30 newer members of staff than I am, all of whom received the incredibly effective Keanu Reeves’ induction programme.

    Many thanks for all your kind comments received in respect of my blogs. ‘Snuggles’ seems to be the most popular and so will be making a re-appearance sometime soon.

    Many of us have lost loved ones as a direct result of the virus, or indirectly due to issues caused by the pandemic, whom we will continue to lament.  However, something I have certainly learned over the last year is that, if we want to minimise the likelihood of COVID 2, we must think and act differently to build back better. A sustainable future, with an ESG and climate change focus, is really our only future.

    ‘If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.’ – Henry Ford.

    ‘What we’ve got is rubbish, we must change.’ – Paul Tinslay.

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    • Published byPaul Tinslay

      Paul Tinslay is a Professional Trustee for DB and DC Pension Schemes, including Chair for Sole Trustee positions, and EGLAS arrangements. With 33 years in the Life and Pensions Industry, Paul has the very rare, if not unique experience of...

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