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Why the government wants to provide a ‘mid-life MOT’ for your finances

The government plans to introduce a ‘financial MOT’ to help you assess your finances years before you reach retirement, pensions minister Guy Opperman has told Which? in an exclusive interview. Mr Opperman, the member of Parliament for Hexham, sat down with us to answer Which? members’ questions on pensions and retirement. You can see part one of our interview with the minister here[1].

Next year, the government is backing the launch of a ‘pensions dashboard’[2] – an online portal that allows you to see all of your pensions in one place. People planning their retirement already get access to free guidance before they retire, through a service called ‘Pension Wise’[3]. But Mr Opperman wants to take this further.

He’s advocating an earlier intervention, allowing people in their 40s to get a financial healthcheck so that they can prepare their finances for the final decades of work.

We asked the Pensions minister how that would work – and how he is ensuring that the pensions dashboard really transforms the way people interact with their retirement savings.

The pensions Minister on the new ‘mid-life MOT’

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More from our interview with Guy Opperman

Check back to[4] later this week to see the third part of our interview with pensions minister Guy Opperman, where he discusses what action the government is taking to ensure people’s pensions are safe – and they aren’t left vulnerable to scammers.


  1. ^ part one of our interview with the minister here (
  2. ^ ‘pensions dashboard’ (
  3. ^ ‘Pension Wise’ (
  4. ^ Check back to (

The US Navy’s newest submarine comes with an Xbox controller

On Saturday, the USS Colorado, the US Navy’s latest Virginia-class attack submarine, went into service from the Naval Submarine Base New London in Connecticut. It comes with an unconventional piece of equipment: an XBox controller, according to USA Today.

The Navy said in September that the new submarines would come equipped with a pair of photonics masts, which replace the previously-used periscope. The masts feature high-resolution cameras that can rotate 360 degrees and feeds their imagery to monitors in the ship’s control room.

Initially, the masts were controlled with a “helicopter-style stick,” but those were described as heavy and clunky, and were swapped out with an Xbox 360 controller.

According to the Colorado’s commanding officer, Commander Reed Koepp, using off-the-shelf technology saves the Navy money, while the controller is already intuitive for the submarine’s sailors.

The Navy isn’t the first to adapt their controls to what their users are familiar with. Wired for War author P.W.

Singer told PBS in 2009 that the military has taken cues from the video game industry, with controllers that closely mimic the ones that control consoles: “we already have this generation that’s already trained up in their use.

So why would we try to use different systems that we’d have to train them how to utilize?”

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