V-FM: The Pensions Podcast

The podcast from Darren Philp and Nico Aspinall talking all things pensions and investments.

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Chatting all things pensions and investments


'V-FM'... It's the podcast you've been waiting for...


Darren Philp and Nico Aspinall having a chat about pensions, investment and anything else that takes their fancy. Join us for an hour of geekery and topical discussion.


Got a topic you'd like us to cover... get in touch at vfmpensions@gmail.com


5 days ago

In this episode of V-FM Pensions, hosts Nico and Darren talk to Pangea founder Nick Stoop. 
As well as the usual V-FM chat we talk about the election, shareholder resolutions, pensions regulation, and the recent IMF report on the UK economy.
We have a great discussion about what Nick is trying to achieve with Pangea - a pension that considers everything through an impact lens.

Friday May 17, 2024

In this episode of V-FM Pensions, hosts Darren and Nico chat to the Labour MP for East Ham and Chair of the Work and Pensions Select Committee Stephen Timms. Stephen has been an MP for over 30 years and shares his experiences and views on pensions and a whole lot more.
In a V-FM Podcast first, this episode was recorded with a live audience at the DG Publishing DC Strategic Summit. 

Friday May 10, 2024

In this episode of V-FM: the pensions podcast, hosts Darren and Nico chat to Pentech guru Martin Freeman. Martin has seen it all when it comes to pensions technology and administration and has recently set up his own company to help schemes and providers deal with the considerable administration and systems challenges that the pensions industry faces. 
We talk pension dashboards, pensions uprating, CDC, coffee, fountain pens and Manchester City (we wanted to get Martin on before the end of the season so he couldn't gloat....). We also, of course, ask Martin what value for money means to him...
Another fantastic guest on the podcast!

Friday May 03, 2024

In this episode hosts Darren and Nico chat to all round pensions industry legend Sally Bridgeland.
Tune in to find out how Margaret Thatcher encouraged Sally to get on her bike, how James Bond style space lasers are nearing reality, and how Sally got into pensions (inducing a discussion on sexism in the city and some of the barriers that Sally and others face). We discussed the People's Pensions new RI policy, Pensions Bee research covering investment in tech giants and why actuaries can't count.
We also, of course, chat about what Value for Money means to Sally.

Friday Apr 26, 2024

In this episode of V-FM Pensions, co hosts Nico and Darren spend an hour chatting about the news, life and some of the the themes coming out of the podcast so far this year. We also, of course, discuss Arsenal.
We chat about AE contribution rates, transfer incentives, at retirement, politics and value for money. And we pay tribute to Frank Field, who recently sadly passed away, for his contribution to politics and welfare reform.
Nico also asks Darren about his new venture as part of Untamed Consulting.

Friday Apr 19, 2024

In this episode of V-FM Pensions, hosts Darren and Nico chat to Royal London's Director of Policy Jamie Jenkins.
As well as being a star billiards player, Jamie is a bit of a pensions legend having led the policy charge at Standard Life and now Royal London. Jamie is a PPI trustee, PLSA policy board member, and was one of three reviewers looking at how to improve auto enrolment back in 2017.
We chat dashboards, at retirement, earth day, adequacy, and all the topics you would expect us to cover in just over an hour's worth of V-FM chat. In another V-FM first, we also find out a bit about billiards.

Friday Apr 12, 2024

In this episode of V-FM pensions, hosts Nico and Darren chat to the CEO of Railpen John Chilman. As well as heading up one of the largest pension schemes in the UK, John is also chair of the PLSA Policy Board and chair of the Pensions Policy Institute's Finance Committee.
We find out about a new Chechnyan law that means that this podcast will now be banned in that country (due to Nico's music...).
We talk about all the classic VFM topics that you'd expect, including what motivates John and, of course, what value for money means to him. 

Friday Apr 05, 2024

In this episode of V-FM pensions, hosts Nico and Darren chat to the ABI's pensions and long term savings guru Rob Yuille. Rob's seen it all in his 12 years at the ABI and, along with his team, has been instrumental in feeding in to the big pensions policy debates and discussions.
A discussion that covers the plethora of changes coming into effect at the beginning of the next tax year (cue discussion about the LTA and pensions tax relief), recent research on pot for life, TPR's climate commitments and a whole lot more, including, of course, Rob's take on value for money (with a couple of good analogies thrown in on cars and speakers....).

V-FM Pensions #56: Emma Douglas

Thursday Mar 28, 2024

Thursday Mar 28, 2024

In the latest episode of V-FM Pensions, hosts Darren and Nico chat to Aviva's Managing Director (workplace) Emma Douglas. 
The usual canter through the V-FM staples of dashboards, productive finance, fees and charges and investments, is hijacked by some very important and timely health advice, a pop quiz on bamboo toilet roll, bin liners and, to top it all off, we had a very passable Yoda impression. We also had a big announcement with V-FM doing its first show with a live audience!!
We had some technical issues while recording the podcast (basically Darren's computer metaphorically blew up) so had to record over two sessions, but we got there in the end!

Friday Mar 22, 2024

In this episode hosts Darren and Nico spend an hour chatting to the CEO of Make My Money Matter Tony Burdon.
We talk about what Tony is trying to achieve (alongside Richard Curtis) with Make My Money Matter, his innovative campaigns (have you checked out Oblivia Coalmine...?), and the power that pension schemes and insurers can leverage in delivering meaningful change to help tackle the world's climate challenges. We also chat pension freedoms ten years on and whether we need two regulators.
Tony has had a really interesting purpose-driven career having worked at Oxfam before joining the Treasury (giving a certain Gordon Brown a 5 point ultimatum) and subsequently the Department for International Development (as it was at the time).

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