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Break through the pain barrier... you won’t regret it

Author: Nick Johnson

26 August 2014

In case it’s escaped your attention, a major cycling event has recently taken place, and it may have passed by a location close to you.

That’s right, I’ve recently completed the cycle journey of a lifetime from York to Norwich and back. I just hope that all the fuss over some other guys on bikes didn’t distract you from this, the true highlight of the cycling year.

26 hours in the saddle, 360 miles and way too much 'me' time for anyone's liking... all to raise money for two very worthwhile causes: Nelson’s Journey in Norwich ( and St Leonard’s Hospice in York (

There were times when it was far from easy. While you’re being buzzed by Eurofighters, soaked to the skin on the A47 or chased by Selby’s version of the Hound of the Baskervilles, you do tend to wonder whether it’s really worth it.

But ultimately it was, of course. Whatever you’re trying to do, lots of planning, training and preparation won’t guarantee that the experience will be easy, but putting in the big effort does mean you will come out the other side happy with what you've achieved.

The bit you’ve been waiting for...

So, here it comes. My inevitable, not-at-all-tenuous, link to bulk purchase annuities: there aren't many (if any) trustees who have gone on to regret doing a buy-in or buyout deal... no matter how difficult it may have seemed along the way.

There are, however, many who failed on the journey and regret not having completed it. Problems with data have punctured many a potential deal, so it’s important for trustees to make sure their data is in good order to ensure a smooth run. Of course, cleaning data takes time and can be expensive – but inaccuracy leads to unreliable quotes, which at best cause delays and at worst scupper deals.

When the preparation finally pays off

It’s also important to make sure that all parties who will be involved in the decision-making process – employer, administrator and advisers as well as trustees themselves – stay well informed throughout to avoid hold-ups once the formal quotations arrive. Being in a position to act quickly can help trustees to secure more attractive terms.

Yes, all of this means putting in the hard miles... but trustees who have made it through the pain barrier are likely to be rewarded with a warm glow of satisfaction when they reach the finish line. Bit like cycling from York to Norwich and back, I’d say... now, who was it again who just did that?

Finally... thanks to all who sponsored me. And if you haven't, the sites are still open!

To paraphrase Sir Steve Redgrave: if you see me anywhere near a bike again any time soon, feel free to shoot me.

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