UK - The suffering of individuals should not be the basis for long-term pensions policies, Watson Wyatt partner Alan Pickering told delegates at the recent Pension Show.
The Simplification Review author said the department for work and pensions was spending too much time trying to prevent the reoccurrence of the “negative” events of the past year.
And he feared the DWP was losing sight of its simplification objectives.
He said: “I don’t want to understate the suffering of these people but that suffering should not be the basis that future long-term pensions policies are built on.
“If we are not careful we will provide more and more protection for fewer and fewer people.”
He stressed “lack of access” to a pension was the “real crisis”.
Pickering attacked the government for putting too much reliance on private pensions provision to provide an income at retirement. He said the government should put itself in a position where it provides a guaranteed retirement income that will give people “bread and jam” for as long as they live.
He continued: “The state is better placed to provide guaranteed levels of income for poor people and the first tier for richer people as well.
“I hope the government will realise that it is in the minority of one that thinks means-testing is sustainable. It is not a firm foundation for building a pension.”
Pickering added: “Before we modernise the world of pensions we need to modernise the world of work. Before we can modernise the world of private pensions we need to modernise the state pension.
“There is a view in government that modernising private pensions is all that is needed. This is not the case.”
Pickering stressed that a public/private partnership was essential for an efficient pensions system.
“If only public and private pension partnerships ran in parallel rather than into each other, the system would be much more rational,” he said.
PwC, KPMG, EY and Deloitte must break up their consultancy and audit businesses into distinct firms to provide greater focus on the "most challenging and objective audits", the competition watchdog has said.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has released its first batch of guidance setting out how the guaranteed minimum pension (GMP) conversion legislation may be used to resolve unequal payments.
This week's top stories include the government spending £800,000 on a Gogglebox advert and MPs writing to The Pensions Regulator about its engagement with the Railways Pension Scheme.