Mapping the DC pensions world

Written by Joe Craig

The pensions industry is good at talking about process. That’s because we’re used to sequences of thought that run in straight lines. But any description or explanation, however good, starts from someone’s point of view – usually our own. So sometimes we can find it hard to imagine ourselves in different parts of the industry, or in the shoes of a member.

To make that easier, we created a map of the DC (defined contributions) pensions world. We decided on a map because they show you the world a different way. A map frees you from any one point of view and lets you choose your starting point, your end point and your route.

We couldn’t have done it without help

We worked with DG Publishing on the map. They’re the go-to source for pension know-how and events – from local authority pension funds to large corporate schemes. So, they were the perfect partner to create this map.

We started with post-it notes

First, Vince, Mark and a few other Quietroomers got into a room with a team from DG Publishing and a small group of experts from across the industry. Together, they planned out a rough map of the DC world on post-it notes and whiteboards.

We invited in more people

Next, we invited other industry leading lights in to see the first version of the map up on the wall. They spotted connections that were missing, told us what they felt worked and added their ideas. For all their help, we offer a particular thank you to Andrew Carrett, Bob Cast, David Hutchins, David Whitehair, Henry Tapper, Jacqui Reid, Nick Groom, Lucian Camp and Tom Hibbard.

We worked with a designer to make the map easy to use

Once we were all happy with what we’d created, we worked with a designer to turn a purely functional diagram into a vibrant, clearer infographic.

This is the first version of the map

The current version of the map won’t be perfect. It represents the collected knowledge of a number of industry experts. But it will keep evolving. The map will develop as our knowledge of the DC world develops. And as more people tell us how they see the world and contribute what they know about their corner of it.

If you’d like to comment on the map, or be involved in creating the next version, head to the map’s website.  


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