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."
More than a third of savers have taken some form of action relating to their pension during the national lockdown, according to research by Aviva.
XPS Pensions has revealed that the gap between pension obligations reported in companies’ accounts and the long-term funding strategies that drive cash demands is continuing to grow.
The government’s Money and Pensions Service (Maps) needs to build further on plans announced last week to spearhead industry cooperation initiatives, PP readers say.
The Continuous Mortality Investigation’s (CMI) mortality monitor has recorded a lower number of week-on-week deaths comparative to 2019 for the first since the outbreak of Covid-19 in the UK.
The positive impact of auto-enrolment (AE) on retirement savings risks running out of steam amid growing concerns about the damage of the Covid-19 pandemic, says Scottish Widows.