An interview with Anuj Babber – one of the first to join the DC Section
The DC Section is 20 years old this summer. To celebrate this we spoke with Anuj Babber, one of the first members to join the DC Section.
Q: Anuj, thank you for chatting with us today. Perhaps to start you could tell us a little bit about joining the Company, back in 2003.
A: Of course, as you have said I joined the Company in the summer of 2003, having previously worked for Morgan Stanley. I took up a position in the Asset Backed Research Function. When I joined there were only three of us, now the team is 14 strong.
Q: And did you choose to join the DC Section straight away?
A: We were automatically enrolled, so I joined straightaway. Initially, the Company would pay 6% into your account. You could choose how much to pay, but the Company would match anything you decided to pay in, up to a maximum of a further 6%. I wanted to make the most of what the Company was offering so immediately started paying in 6% so that I made use of the maximum 18% allowance.
Q: That’s very sensible. What are the biggest changes you’ve seen to the DC Section since you’ve joined?
A: Investment choice must be the big one. Back in 2003 the choices were quite limited, but investment choices and strategies have to improve. Now there are a wide spectrum of funds to choose from.
The second improvement is the online interface. This has significantly improved and makes it much easier to pivot in and out of different investment strategies.
Q: The Trustee recently made some significant changes to the investment choices available to DC Section members. How well do you think these were communicated?
A: On the whole communication has improved and I especially liked that the Trustee decided to use a mixture of paper-based and digital communications.
Q: That’s great to hear. So 20 years in, where do you see yourself on your retirement savings journey?
A: I’m very much still in the build phase, so very interested in new funds and strategies introduced by the Trustee.
Q: Thinking about those just starting out, how are their choices different to yours?
A: As I mentioned earlier, they now have more choice around investments and new members place more emphasis on not only maximizing returns, but also what impact their investment straigies are having on the world.
Q: And how can the Trustee help these members make the best decisions?
A: More ESG or impact focused information on the fund strategies and would help members balance this against pure financial performance.
Anuj, I think that’s a really important observation, and one we should end on. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts today.