A report examined how the level of undersaving for retirement might change under various policy and economic scenarios. The report examined the existing situation, and the estimated undersaving changes under five themes: higher labour market participation among people aged between 50 and state pension age; opt-out rates from automatic enrolment into workplace pension schemes; the level at which people contributed to private pension saving; the way in which the new state pension would be uprated each year; and the starting rate of the new state pension.
Source: Scenario Analysis of Future Pension Incomes, Department for Work and Pensions
A new book examined pensions reforms measures in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and the United States of America. It said that, despite differences in the pensions systems, similar measures had been taken to encourage or impose delayed take-up of state pensions, and it explored the underlying policy rationale and aims, and whether they addressed the same problem.
Source: Catherine Blair, Securing Pension Provision: The challenge of reforming the age of entitlement, Palgrave Pivot
A study examined the attitudes and behaviour of social housing tenants towards saving, and considered what could be done to improve levels of saving. The report said that: most respondents (76 per cent) were not saving regularly; 67 per cent held no savings; 73 per cent felt they ought to save more and wanted to; 88 per cent had experienced, during their tenancy, at least one major life event that could affect their financial security; many respondents appeared to prioritize spending in line with their peers and the social norms around them; and those who felt they were 'just getting by' prioritized some 'non-essential', though 'non-extravagant', items. The report proposed a 'Rent Plus' opt-in scheme, to collect a monthly savings sum along with rent, with options for tenants to add to, or withdraw from, the account directly.
Source: Bad Weather Good Habits: Encouraging social housing tenants to save more, Lemos&Crane
A report by a committee of MPs said that the Scottish Government had not properly costed its post-independence proposals for public and private pensions, and that, in the event of a vote in favour of independence, there was doubt over whether a new benefits system could be set up by the proposed implementation deadline of 2018.
Source: The Referendum on Separation for Scotland: Implications for pensions and benefits, First Report (Session 201415), HC 498, House of Commons Scottish Affairs Select Committee, TSO
The Queen's Speech set out the United Kingdom coalition government's legislative programme for 2014-15. It included plans for a Pensions Tax Bill and a Private Pensions Bill to introduce wider choice in the private pensions market, including 'collective schemes' that pooled risk between members, and to provide individuals with choice in how they accessed their pension benefits.
Source: Queen's Speech, 4 June 2014, columns 1-4, House of Commons Hansard, TSO
Links: Hansard | Prime Ministers Office briefing | Cabinet Office guidance | PMO/DPMO press release | NI Office press release | Scotland Office press release | Wales Office press release | Independent Age press release | NAPF press release | PwC press release | TUC press release | BBC report | Guardian report | Telegraph report
A report provided a summary of evidence on consumer perspectives on defined ambition pension schemes.
Source: Defined Ambition: Consumer evidence summary, Ad Hoc Research Report 5, Department for Work and Pensions
A report examined consumersï¿½ views about risk sharing in pension schemes, the 'appetite' for greater certainty in relation to pension costs and saving, and views about the government's proposed defined ambition schemes.
Source: Defined Ambition: Consumer perspectives – qualitative research among employers, individuals and employee benefit consultants, Research Report 866, Department for Work and Pensions
A report examined how pensions might be used to help fund long term care needs, and the financial impact of the proposed cost cap for individuals in England. The report said that people needed to be encouraged to save more for retirement and potential care needs, and that the pensions system provided an existing framework for meeting the costs of care. It said that costs of care varied across the country, but most people requiring care would not reach the proposed cost cap, and all would have daily living costs (and possible top-up care costs) that were not covered by the cap. The report made recommendations, including for better communication regarding the implications of the cap, and for high quality information and advice.
Source: How Pensions Can Help Meet Consumer Needs under the New Social Care Regime: An overview, Institute and Faculty of Actuaries
A report said that the introduction of a state pension window, rather than a fixed retirement age, in the United Kingdom would help to meet people's desire for more flexibility on when they could access their state pension. It suggested that the window should range from age 65 to age 75, with an adjustment to the amount of the pension (according to the point of actual retirement) to encourage later retirement.
Source: One Size Fits None: Does the flexible workforce of the future need a flexible state pension age?, PricewaterhouseCoopers
A report examined financial well-being among older people in the United Kingdom. Noting a wide diversity among the age group, it discussed patterns of spending, mortgage and other borrowing, wealth, and the relationships between financial well-being and quality of life in older age.
Source: Financial Wellbeing in Later Life Evidence and Policy, International Longevity Centre – UK
A paper examined to what extent differences in employment rates among people in better and worse health in the United Kingdom could be explained by the availability of publicly-funded disability benefits and by retirement income schemes.
Source: James Banks, Carl Emmerson, and Gemma Tetlow, Effect of Pensions and Disability Benefits on Retirement in the UK, Working Paper 19907, National Bureau of Economic Research
A think-tank report examined the anticipated future demands on pensions in the United Kingdom. It said that the existing state pension system incentivized early retirement, while employment protection legislation led to increased unemployment rates in older years. The report made ten policy recommendations to ease future demands on the state pension system, including: accelerating the increase in retirement age, linking it to life expectancy; exempting older workers from employment protections and age discrimination laws; encouraging savings, and considering compulsory private pension schemes; and changing disability and unemployment benefits schemes.
Source: Gabriel Sahlgren, Income from Work: The fourth pillar of income provision in old age, Discussion Paper 52, Institute of Economic Affairs