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Ella Mower

Senior Content Writer
Published: 27/10/2023
Pension jar tipped over spilling coins

The Building a Consensus for Better Pensions charter unifies voices from across the pension industry in calling on major political parties for reform.

Organisations from across the pension industry signed a new charter last week calling for reform to the pension savings system.

The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA), the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and Age UK were among signatories calling on major UK political parties to prioritise pension reform in their manifestos ahead of the next General Election.

“It’s almost 20 years since the Pension Commission proposed reforms to the UK pension system,” said Nigel Peaple, Director of Policy & Advocacy at the PLSA.

“We, and the other signatories to this Charter, are asking all the main UK political parties to commit to putting pension reform in their General Election manifestos so as to ensure that everyone in the UK has a good income in retirement,” Peaple added.

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What is the charter asking for?

Titled ‘Building a Consensus for Better Pensions’, the charter lays out aims for the UK pension savings system which the signatories hope will “enable the UK’s ageing society to thrive in retirement”.

It calls for a set of clear objectives to make state, workplace and personal pensions “adequate, fair and affordable”; recognises the value of the universal State Pension and asks for it to be maintained and promotes a pension savings system which benefits as many people as possible.

What solutions does it propose?

The charter goes on to provide a list of actions the signatories believe will support traditionally under-pensioned groups, such as the self-employed, multiple job holders and low-income earners. This includes expanding the scope of Automatic Enrolment, increasing contributions to keep people on track to meet their retirement goals and recognising the importance of having other methods of saving available.

To ensure pensions provide a decent standard of living throughout retirement, the charter calls for savers to be supported with “good quality advice and guidance, industry-led awareness and engagement initiatives, and accessible good-value retirement income products”. It also asks for policies to be designed in ways that are simple to understand and that enable people to make wise decisions.

A final suggestion, the charter promotes an “integrated approach to pensions policy from across Government departments”.

“As with other areas of reforms, we believe that at times, the Government and the regulators should adopt a more joined-up approach to change, and we as an industry should do the same,” said Renny Biggins, Head of Retirement at The Investing and Saving Alliance (TISA) – another signatory.

“This pension charter is a positive step in that direction, and allows us to present a unified and clear message on the key areas of focus for future policy creation,” Biggins added.


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