Pension Pillar

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Generation X and saving for retirement

Looking at customer research we recently conducted, I was reminded of how challenging it remains to get people saving for their retirement and help them make informed decisions. For example, 43 per cent of over 40s surveyed don’t think they have saved enough for their retirement. At 51 per cent of over 40s surveyed, the number of those who wished they had saved more for retirement when they were younger is even higher. Just 25 per cent of those over 40 surveyed felt that they had saved enough.
Posted on Monday Oct 13

New engagement challenges in an auto-enrolled world

Auto-enrolment is still a hot topic in the workplace benefits arena, as small to medium-sized employers are preparing to stage this year. What is very noticeable though is that the emphasis is shifting. Rather than focusing on the implementation, the focus is increasingly on outcomes. Getting everyone to save for their retirement is a major step forward - but are they saving enough?
Posted on Monday Oct 13

Using Facebook lessons to improve pensions communications

Amidst the celebrations of its 10th birthday, Facebook is having to confront its nay-sayers. There are reports predicting its decline and suggesting that it is no longer ‘cool’ amongst teenagers off to networks like Snapchat and Tumblr. But the reality is that more than 1 billion people visited the site on a monthly basis in December, which represents an increase of 49 per cent year-on-year. Facebook published its number of daily users in the UK for the first time in August 2013 and the figures showed that more than a third of the population are visiting the site every day.
Posted on Monday Oct 13

Long live pensions

After the seismic shift that is auto-enrolment (AE), the pensions industry might have hoped for a brief period of calm, not only to embed AE, but to also help small to medium-sized employers to stage in 2014. But there is no time to stand still as this year’s Budget introduced far-reaching changes for pensions savings. Most notable, is the removal of the requirement for pensioners to draw an income through an annuity, which should lead to a greater engagement during the savings phase, and ultimately means that pensioners will be able to take more responsibility for their money upon retirement.
Posted on Monday Oct 13

How long will you live? - The brave new world of retirement

In the aftermath of this year’s Budget, the future of annuities remains a hot topic. As a result, planning their long-term savings and managing their future income has never been more confusing for customers. People are living longer, retiring later and looking for different ways to fund their lifestyle and many will need help and guidance to make the right decisions.
Posted on Monday Oct 13

The importance of being guided

Currently, it feels like if you blink you’ll miss another new development in the pensions landscape. Whilst the industry is still coming to terms with the Retail Distribution Review, the legacy review announced by the FCA and of course the big game changer that is auto-enrolment, the Chancellor announced further changes in his Budget – and then still more were revealed in the recent Queen’s Speech.
Posted on Monday Aug 18

The benefits of good governance

New Year resolutions have come and gone, and all the best made plans to sort out our personal finances are by now a distant memory. But research we conducted over the New Year period found that three quarters of people (75%) believe that financial planning will be important to them in 2014. Retirement income (32%) and pension savings (29%) are seen as the top financial planning concerns, ahead of other financial planning concerns such as credit card bills (23%).
Posted on Wednesday Feb 26

It’s time to get real about retirement

Recent ONS figures revealed that almost double the number of over 65 years olds are economically active compared to ten years ago. Of course, there are many, many reasons behind this trend with increased life expectancy, better health in old age, more flexible working patters becoming more common with knock on effects on opportunities to work when and how we want being the most significant. However, we can’t ignore the fact that some are working beyond the retirement age because the reality of their retirement has hit and working for extra money is the sensible, and for some the only, option to ensure a comfortable life.
Posted on Friday Nov 1

Auto-Enrolment figures could lead to complacency

Many in the pensions’ industry will have been buoyed by the recent statistics from DWP revealing that less than ten percent of employees have opted out of automatic enrolment into a workplace pension scheme. With the government and pensions industry both making a big push on employee engagement in the last couple of years, announcements like this are encouraging as auto enrolment enters its next phase. Although still in early days, the high rates of engagement with auto-enrolment will go some way to helping secure a stable retirement for the hundreds of thousands that have already enrolled.
Posted on Friday Oct 11

The Future of Advice

With the recent discourse around auto enrolment being solely focused on charging, the industry seems to be forgetting that with any new legislation or changes to the corporate benefits process, education and advice will be the key in ensuring smooth implementation. Therefore, making sure everyone has access to the right advice should be of utmost importance to the pensions industry rather than debates around consultancy charging.
Posted on Monday Sep 23

Clamping down on pensions liberation

The last few years have seen a number of activities in the financial services sector that have misled and short-changed consumers with promises of short term rewards or false explanations. With consumers increasingly bombarded by potentially fraudulent and deceptive practices, it has become even more of a priority to look out for where customers may be misled and to address any potential issues as soon as they arise.
Posted on Thursday Sep 5

Waking up the pension sleepwalkers

Once you factor out the point that we’re all going to get older, there aren’t that many absolute certainties in life. ‘Birth, school, work, death’, as alternative rockers The Godfathers put it all the way back in the late 1980s. However, one thing we’d all like to assume will be the certainty that – unless a footballer or short-lived pop sensation – we’ll be earning more towards the end of our career than we did at the beginning. All that grafting through our twenties, thirties and forties; all those early mornings and later evenings, all that experience we were picking up and applying liberally to our CVs so we could move up the ladder and earn more – should hopefully enable us to have ‘fun’ in our retirement should we wish too.
Posted on Wednesday May 15

Pension Pillar: Regulation and reform as usual...

September typically brings with it a return to ‘business as usual’ as the holiday season draws to a close. However, this year is special for those working in financial services, not just because of this summer’s sporting extravaganza, but due to the raft of new regulation due to hit the industry which will be sure to make this winter far from usual.
Posted on Tuesday Oct 23

Pension Pillar: Best practice for ETV's

Since their inception, Enhanced Transfer Values (or ETVs) have been considered somewhat controversial because of the suggestion that they can exploit a lack of understanding on the part of members of exactly what is being given up. As such, ETVs and the ways that they are offered remain one of the key ways to influence our industry's credibility.
Posted on Friday Jul 6

Pensions and gender: how much has really changed?

July saw the publication of a major piece of research which examines the attitudes of women towards their finances. Working Women, part of Friends Life’s Visions of Britain 2020 campaign, uncovered some interesting, if not wholly unexpected results which will influence the pensions industry in more ways than one.
Posted on Tuesday Oct 18

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