At PTL we pride ourselves on being personable. Meet Alison Bostock.
What was your favourite subject at school? Worst?
Favourite and best was Maths. Worst was Art – I used to dread every lesson.
Do you have a nickname?
Definitely not, and to contradict the words of Paul Simon, you can’t call me Al.
If you had to be classified as a member of a “generation” which would it be?
I’m a child of the 70s.
What was the first record that you bought?
Romeo and Juliet by Dire Straits.
What was the last concert you went to?
The Armed Man by Sir Karl Jenkins, performed by the Voices for Hospices Choir. I was singing in the alto section.
What did you want to be when you were at school?
A librarian or a teacher – probably because I loved reading and I enjoyed going to school!
What was your first job?
Computer programming, in the summer before I went to university.
How did you start in the pensions profession?
As an actuarial student at Clay & Partners.
What is your favourite book and film?
Book – Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh. Film – The Great Escape.
Do you support a sporting team?
I’m a season ticket holder at Spurs.
What three adjectives would your colleagues use to describe you?
Outgoing, professional and bright.
What aspect of pensions legislation or provision would you change if you could?
Scrap statutory pension increases and go back to giving them on a discretionary basis when affordable. This would maximise the chances of schemes being able to provide most of the promised benefits on a fairer basis across the whole membership.
Who is the most irritating person in the industry or public eye?
I’m not going to comment on an industry figure! More generally, Katie Hopkins.
Who is the most influential person in the pensions industry?
Should saving into a pension be compulsory?
Yes – except for the lowest earners where the State pension will provide a good income replacement ratio.
Pension or ISA?
What is your worst habit?
I am obsessively neat and tidy, which is apparently quite annoying to others.
When was the last time you lost your temper?
It almost certainly involved a teenage boy and cello practice.
What was the last “bargain” you got?
My family of 3 travelled to Northumberland and back by train for £65, after my successful Delay Repay claim.
What is your favourite meal and drink?
Fillet steak with chips and Béarnaise sauce and Prosecco (but not together).
What is the biggest bet you ever placed and did you win?
My parents had a share in a fairly successful race horse a few years back, and I would always put £10 or £20 on. The most memorable race was at Royal Ascot, on a day when I happened to be there entertaining clients, and he came in second. Luckily I had backed him each way so I won about £30 or so.
Who would be your ideal dinner guest?
What was the last country you visited?
How do you plan to spend your retirement years?
I honestly have no idea. But everyone tells me you very soon find that you don’t know how you ever had time to go to work.
Congratulations, you’ve won the lottery. What next?
Gifts to family and friends, then invest the rest and go back to work on Monday.
Alison joined PTL as a Client Director in July 2015 with 25 years’ experience in actuarial, investment and DC consulting. In her previous role as a principal and scheme actuary at Punter Southall, she advised trustees of open and closed schemes ranging in asset size from around £25m to over £500m. As a qualified actuary, Alison has considerable technical knowledge of DB funding and investment strategies but always remains focussed on the desired outcome.