Today we lost one of the pioneers of the 20th and 21st centuries. The achievements of Steve Jobs have been widely celebrated today across all industries, with obviously some specific focus from his own sector, IT. But what did this leader of business do for the pensions industry? If we look, there are a number of things we owe to this giant of innovation.
- The increased use of online administration platforms for all types of pension schemes. The introduction of the PC into the home enabled schemes to interact with pension scheme members in a new way. It is now the norm for members to log in to a personal home page showing details of their pension benefits. This would not have been possible without the early work Steve Jobs and his peers did on putting PCs in our home.
- The engagement of the Baby Boomers with technology (not to be underplayed, this one!) The item on my retired trustee clients’ Christmas wish list last year was the iPad. Its size and ease of use gave a previously unreached group of people the same opportunities to interact and obtain information via the internet as the younger generations. As an industry dealing daily with these individuals Steve Jobs changed the way our industry works, and certainly made my life much easier as a pension professional.
- Obtaining market information, news and data feeds instantly and conveniently. I receive all the news I need (including legal updates and investment market data) on a timely manner from a gadget smaller than an A5 piece of paper. Enough said.
- Finally, social media. The ease at which we now interact and share knowledge, and opinion, as a profession and industry, can almost solely be credited to one man and his visions.
So, tomorrow, as you go about your daily tasks in pensions, spare a thought for the guy who helped make so much of what you do possible.