UK - Pension schemes have broadly welcomed proposals outlined in Alan Pickering's simplification report, but have urged more radical reform, according to data from the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF).
The survey of 100 NAPF members 72% said the report, if implemented, would lead to a simplification of pensions. However, 75% said that the proposals did not go far enough in addressing problems facing the industry.
Respondents also reacted strongly to plans to slash certain benefits, with 81% of saying said they would keep widows’ benefits, and 76% retaining index-linked pricing, even if the requirement to do so were abolished.
Commenting on the survey, NAPF chief executive Christine Farnish said:“There is a genuine demand from pension schemes for radical change. The message from this survey is that the Pickering proposals would do much to simplify the pensions regime, but that more must be done to encourage retirement saving.
“It is reassuring that the majority of schemes want to retain the additional benefits which many commentators feared might be jeopardised under the proposals.”
Other key findings included:- members expressed concern that the proposals would do little to encourage people to save more;- 65% were in favour of compulsory immediate vesting (with an accompanying change in the transfer rules);- 64% thought it unlikely that the Government would give employers the right to make scheme membership compulsory, but 61% said that they would consider the option if offered.
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