Almost half this week's contributors backed the use of lifestyling in DC schemes, while just over a quarter said it did not ultimately help savers. Some cautious supporters suggested it was better to say the technique reduced the chances of members getting a bad outcome.
Many contributors in favour of lifestyling recognised its flaws but said it was better than nothing, particularly for those savers who did not make active decisions.
One commentator said: "Even if it is not perfect, it is still so much better than cash for a 40 year old ‘low risk' investor, equities for someone about to hit retirement or with-profits for just about anybody."
"The key variables influencing outcomes at present are level of contributions and annuity rates rather than short-term equity market volatility," said another contributor. "Lifestyling, of itself, should still result in more predictable outcomes."
A fairly lukewarm supporter said: "But more actively managed arrangements can produce better outcomes. Members blindly choose the default thinking someone is looking after their investments like in a DB arrangement nothing could be further than the truth in many cases."
Others took this criticism further, saying lifestyling was too mechanical and not sufficiently tailored to individual savers.
"Any approach which is effectively a 'one size fits all' is not going to fit anyone terribly well," was the verdict of one commentator. "Traditional lifestying which happens irrespective of market conditions is dangerous."
Another critic added: "Unless lifestyling is tailored to individual circumstances and fluctuating market conditions, it is too hit-and-miss to optimise outcomes for the majority."
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