Laura Blows, Editor, Pensions Age

In today's Money Talks, Headlinemoney Awards winner Laura Blows emphasises the importance of meeting contacts at industry events, discusses the current issues facing defined contribution savers, and reveals which musical instrument she is learning to play.
Laura Blows, Editor, Pensions Age

What are the main beats that you cover?

Institutional pensions.

What has been your proudest moment working in financial journalism?

Winning the Headlinemoney B2B Pensions Journalist of the Year award this year of course! It was a very pleasant surprise, not least due to all the excellent journalists in that category, and the prestigiousness of the awards. I’m very grateful.

Congratulations on your success at the 2023 Headlinemoney Awards! How did you feel when your name was announced as the winner?       

Absolute shock – such shock in fact, that I had to be nudged to go on stage to collect the award! And then buzzing with excitement throughout the celebrations afterwards. I would like to pretend I’m cool and nonchalant about winning awards, but I’m really not!

How can PRs help you with your work?  

If they could provide more opportunities for case studies featuring pension funds themselves, and not just the providers, that would always be appreciated.

When are the best times for PRs/press offices to contact you?

At the start of the month for any enquiries regarding that month’s issue of Pensions Age. On a day-to-day- basis, outside of work hours, you’re more likely to catch me late at night than early in the morning – I’m far more of a night owl than early bird.

What is the financial interview you’d most like to arrange?

I’d love to interview the Chancellor, to grill the government on what plans they have (if any) to tackle the upcoming pensions ’timebomb’ of those with only low levels of DC savings reaching retirement.

What is the piece of financial services research you’d most like to read?

Any that provide practical – and, crucially, achievable – methods for DC savers to achieve a liveable income throughout their retirement, which does not require the average individual to put away the majority of their disposable income into a pension or to become an investment expert in their spare time.

What was the last article you read that really shocked you?

That the England women’s football team lost the World Cup final – I really thought this would finally be our time…

What is the one piece of advice you’d give to someone starting out in financial journalism?

To go to industry events and meet with contacts as much as possible. The only way to understand what’s really happening within your beat is to get out there and chat to the people within it.

Sum up your time as a financial journalist in three words:

Fast-paced, educational, enjoyable.

If you were up for an award for any hobbies/activities outside of work, what would you be likely to win, and why?

I like to draw and paint when I can, and I’m currently learning to play the drums, but I’m a very long way away from winning awards for either of these.

Finally, if you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Medium steak with mash and green beans please. Actually, make that spaghetti carbonara. No, massaman curry... I can’t decide!

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