Analysis: Third Annual Pensions Survey

2012 is going to be remembered for many reasons – not least the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the Olympics and the Paralympics. But in the pensions industry, 2012 is the year of automatic enrolment, the impact of very low gilt yields on deficits, Europe imposing sex equal annuity rates and the early stages of defined aspiration as a new type of pensions saving.

The Government threw down the gauntlet for more pensions “simplification” by putting pensions under the spotlight earlier in the year in its Red Tape Challenge. The aim is to abolish unnecessary regulations and create a regulatory regime that both supports pensions saving and is fit for the 21st century. Our survey respondents put GMP equalisation, indexation and the annual and lifetime allowances on the list for abolition as pensions regulation that has had its day.

In September the Government launched its “I’m in!” TV campaign backing automatic enrolment - not to be confused with NEST’s “Tomorrow is worth saving for” social media competition, which ran in June and resulted in two adverts in the national press. However, the vast majority of our survey respondents thought that their employees had little confidence that their pensions saving would be enough to provide an adequate income on retirement. The reasons included the uncertainty of the outcome when saving into a defined contribution scheme, complacency, mistrust of pensions and a lack of taking personal responsibility about retirement planning…

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