The National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF), the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have come together to make the case for a standing independent retirement savings commission.
A new NAPF report – The Case for an Independent Retirement Savings Commission – reveals consumer research into how savers feel about the way pensions policy is developed in the UK and the effect this has on their views of pension saving.
Fewer than one in three (29 per cent) think recent pensions policy changes have made them more confident about the future of their pension savings and 56 per cent of people feel more uncertain about what the future holds for their retirement.
Joanne Segars, Chief Executive, National Association of Pension Funds, says: “Thanks to automatic enrolment, 5.2 million people are saving in a workplace pension today who were not five years ago. This achievement has its foundations in the work of the Pensions Commission, chaired by Lord Turner a decade ago. But our research shows there is a very real discrepancy between this positive progress and how confident, or not, people feel about saving for a pension. We believe this is a result of pensions policy driven by short-term priorities and political expediency creating a feeling of uncertainty among many employers that contribute to pensions and the savers that rely on them.”
An overwhelming majority of people (84 per cent) agreed that an independent commission should be set up by a future Government and a similar proportion said it should be politically neutral (85 per cent), impartial in its recommendations to Government (85 per cent), and should focus not just on pensions but include the wider range of issues that affect both when people retire and the kind of retirement they have (87 per cent).
Eight in ten (83 per cent) were in favour of a permanent commission – one that would last more than one parliamentary term, would endure through future political cycles and provide independent, expert advice to all future UK Governments, regardless of their political make-up.
Segars, says: “Today’s report shows the breadth and depth of support that exists for creating an independent retirement savings commission. A new standing commission will help make sure the long-term interests of savers, not the short-term interests of politicians, are at the heart of pensions policy. That matters because someone starting work today will see eight or nine General Elections before they start to draw their pension – eight or nine potential swings of the pensions policy pendulum which will do little to build saver confidence.
“This support for a standing commission stretches well beyond the people who work in pensions to the everyday savers who will rely on their pensions for a decent income in retirement. The idea of such a commission is not a new one but it has yet to become a reality – our report shows there is growing chorus for that to change, and soon.”