Articles - Pensions industry doubts triple lock will exist in 5 years


More than three quarters (81%) of respondents are not confident the Triple Lock will exist in its original format in five years. Fewer than half (49%) of respondents are satisfied with the direction of pensions policy over the last six months, down from 61% in June 2021. However, more than half (58%) have been satisfied with the work of the Pensions Regulator over the past six months and two thirds (67%) are confident that it will focus on the right areas in the next six months.

 Research from the Pensions Management Institute’s (PMI) latest PMI Pulse survey reveals that over three quarters (81%) of pensions professionals are sceptical about the future of the pensions triple lock and doubt that it will exist in its current form in five years

 The survey also shows that there is broad dissatisfaction amongst pensions professionals with the Government’s handling of pensions policy. Fewer than half of respondents are satisfied with the direction of pensions policy over the last six months. 49% of those surveyed were satisfied, a 12% drop from June 2021 when almost two thirds (61%) said they were satisfied. 56% are pessimistic about the direction of pensions policy over the next six months with only 40% optimistic, down by 10 points since June 2021.

 Fewer than a third (32%) of respondents to the PMI’s survey are satisfied with the Government’s handling of the increase of the Normal Minimum Pension Age to 57 from 2028. Of those surveyed, fewer than a third (32%) are happy with the Government’s action, with over two thirds (65%) dissatisfied, including 30% who are very dissatisfied. Complaints include a lack of clarity and communication with the public by the Government about the changes.

 Despite this sense of dissatisfaction in the industry, more than half (58%) of those surveyed have been happy with the work of the Pensions Regulator over the past six months with only a third (34%) dissatisfied. Further, two thirds (67%) are confident that it will focus on the right areas in the next six months, up 10% from 57% in June 2021.

 The survey also outlined some areas for improvement in terms of diversity and inclusion in the pensions industry. Almost half of those surveyed (49%) said their board did not have a diversity and inclusion policy. Just over a quarter (28%) of respondents said their board did have such a policy. The majority of those surveyed recognised the benefits of diversity and inclusion, with 58% mentioning the avoidance of groupthink and 55% citing the more accurate representation of the scheme membership as the biggest benefits.

 Rosie Lacey FPMI, Vice President of the Pensions Management Institute, commented: “This year’s PMI Pulse survey paints a mixed picture of the outlook of pensions professionals. Our research suggests that the Government faces an uphill climb to convince the industry that it understands the most pressing issues and is taking action to tackle them.

 "The lukewarm feelings of those surveyed about the direction of pensions policy over the past six months and the six months ahead should be cause for reflection among officials. In particular, questions about the future of the pensions triple lock and the handling of the increase to the normal minimum pension age seem widespread. These are surely issues which the Government should confront if they wish to have the confidence of the pensions industry.

 "In contrast to the respondent’s feelings about the future of pensions policy, those surveyed seem satisfied with the work of The Pensions Regulator’s actions over the past six months and confident in its direction for the months ahead. Clearly there are mixed feelings amongst the pensions professionals about the current state of the industry and what lies ahead.”
  

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