UK - Life and pensions business in the second quarter of 2003 plummeted by 20%, latest ABI figures show.
Life and pensions business on an annual premium equivalent basis fell from £3bn in the second quarter of 2002 to £2.4bn in the three months to June 2003.
And while sales of regular premium pensions have increased by 19% on the first quarter of the year, they are still 19% down on the second quarter of 2002.
ABI director general Mary Francis said: “We have seen signs of encouragement in the second quarter but, as all parts of the savings industry know, levels of saving remain too low.
“Despite this, longer term prospects for both the industry and savers are more positive. The recent market recovery and greater stability are good signals to savers.”
The ABI said consumer and industry confidence would become much stronger when the government makes its decision about how much providers could charge for stakeholder products set out by Ron Sandler.
Francis added: “The new stakeholder products have the potential to increase the level of saving in the UK and to help close the savings gap.
“But to fulfil that potential, they will require significant investment by companies.
“It is vital that the government views these products in the context of the wider market and ensures that they are attractive not only to consumers but also to companies and their shareholders.”
Jonathan Stapleton asks whether newly-accredited professional trustees should be a statutory fixture on pension scheme boards.
Savers are being warned by the Insolvency Service to guard their pension pots from investment scammers and negligent trustees as it winds up 24 companies.
Respondents say they should only be required in certain situations as the system is not broken.