The government and the industry "need to work in partnership" to enable savers to take control of their future, pensions and financial inclusion minister Guy Opperman has said.
Writing for Professional Pensions, the minister argued the British people need "to fall in love with pensions, savings and investments again" and "grasp clearly" the need to save for retirement. The industry has a "crucial role" in clearly explaining the benefits of pensions, he added.
He said: "We need to get the British people to fall in love with pensions, savings and investments again; to grasp clearly that having money put away gives you options - not only to own a home, but to change career, survive life's setbacks and, crucially, to provide better living standards in old age.
"It would be foolish for me to suggest that this will be delivered by the government alone. I am clear that we need to work in partnership to ensure consumers are planning ahead."
Opperman also outlined four priorities to ensure customers are engaged with their finances this year, including delivering greater engagement with pension savings and automatic enrolment (AE), developing a "properly safeguarded" pensions dashboard by 2019, tackling pension scammers, and improving advice and guidance through a single financial guidance body.
He added: "With contribution rates increasing in April 2018 and 2019, I believe the pensions industry has a crucial role to play alongside government to engage consumers on the clear benefits of saving into a workplace pension.
"After all, through long-term saving and compound interest, this will only help grow every penny saved for retirement."
The Department for Work and Pensions is currently engaged in a number of projects and legislative programmes designed to improve consumer outcomes in retirement, including a bill currently going through parliament to create a single financial guidance body - created through the merger of The Pensions Advisory Service, Money Advice Service, and Pension Wise - which is expected to receive Royal Assent in March.
Also, the department is expected to announce more detail about the pension dashboard this spring, introduce legislation for a cold-calling ban in the first half of this year, publish a white paper on defined benefit security and sustainability, and launch a new authorisation and supervision regime for master trusts.
Opperman concluded: "It is clear that work needs to be done to ensure people are consistently engaged in their pensions, protected from practices that are a threat, and have a high degree of confidence that the financial system will work for them."
This week’s top stories included Aon findings that the number of defined benefit schemes employing a sole trustee model is expected to double by 2025, while Scottish Widows invested £2bn as the inaugural investor in BlackRock’s new climate fund.
Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) saw its profits fall by a third in its first-half results as revenue fell, but redemptions from its strategies fell to the lowest level since the firm's blockbuster 2017 merger.
Phoenix Group has reported a £36m increase in group operating profit in the first six months of this year, as well as strong cash generation of £433m.
Aviva’s operating profit fell by 11% in the first half of the year as Covid-19 hit business activity, although a growth in bulk annuity sales partially offset the drop.
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