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29 January, 2018   |   By Fiona Tait, Technical Director   |   Blog

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Sweet Caroline @Pensionsgirlieblog 29 January

Well done Caroline and Roger!

I managed to catch both the men’s and women’s finals of the Australian Open tennis, largely because it falls into the category of “sport or cartoons” so the male members of the household were prepared to surrender the remote.

Both matcBlog 1 75.jpg (2)hes were fabulous contests between worthy opponents. What was noticeable was that while there were blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moments, there were also periods where one or other player seemed to droop a little either due to the extreme heat or just the strain of playing for x hours. Such is life – we can’t be at our best at all times, part of being successful is being able to carry on through the hard times without losing too much. It is never easy to save for the nebulous future that is called retirement but those who stick with it over the years will benefit the most.

Talking of sticking with it, I am still on dry January. The other half has cracked – I was highly suspicious when he encouraged me to have a dram on Burns night but it turns out that he wanted an excuse to join my father in his imbibing the day after. I wouldn’t dream of rubbing in my superior self-control, obviously, but I am cultivating an air of extreme virtue which could come in useful later in the year.

On the downside you may have noticed, or not, that last week’s blog didn’t happen. This was due to

  1. Having to do my tax returns and write the firm’s annual technical test
  2. Lack of inspiration on account of its being January.

Blog  2 75.pngThe tax return thing was a nightmare. I have been doing this on line for years but this year the system decided not to recognise my Government Gateway password so I had to go through it all again (1). Two hours and a phone call to the helpdesk later I am informed that I need to log in every month or the password will expire. I am not at all sure I believe this (has it changed this year?) but am by now so fed up I meekly accept the new password and get on with it (which took 2 days to send to me via snail mail), then set about proving again to the system that I am who I say I am. I also discover that the password works if you go through the HMRC homepage, but not the Gateway itself.

The thing is, this is just too much trouble to go through it without a real incentive. One of the issues facing the much-needed pension dashboard is the digital identity which will allow people to access their own details while being protected against other people breaking in to it. So it’s good to know there are six independent technology companies involved in the project. No pressure.Blog  3 75.jpg

It will have to be a lot better than this or the project will die in its first week, if ever I needed a drink it was at the end of this process. Fortunately there are only 3 days to go….

(1)Yes I know I should have done it earlier - I refer you to my comments about not being perfect all of the time.