Guest blog: Time to take the politics out of pensions

Guest BlogIn her first guest blog Rachel Vahey, Independent Pensions Consultant looks at how pensions have become a political football and injury time is fast approaching One of the major changes introduced by the current Government is a fixed term parliament lasting five years. As we near the end of the first fixed term, and a general election looms next year, politicians are sensing that time is running out. And many, I suspect, will want to make their mark before time is called on this Government. Steve Webb, the Pensions Minister, could ...

Pensions: Government consider a money back guarantee

Today’s Daily Telegraph lead with a story that the government are to consult on plans to give pension savers certainty that their pensions will not be worth less than they have paid in when the time comes to retire. One third of people over the age of 50 have no private pension provision and the government are concerned that fluctuations in the stock market are putting people off saving for their retirement, because they are worried that they will get less back than they have put in....

Only one third of people in the private sector now saving for retirement

The latest ‘Pension Trends’ report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that the number of people in the private sector making provision for their retirement has fallen dramatically in recent years. In 2002, 52% of men and 41% of women were paying into a pension scheme in the private sector, these figures have now dropped significantly with only 39% of men and 28% of women making contributions. Membership of pensions amongst self employed men has also fallen dramatically, from 64% in 1998/99 to just 38% in 2010. Conversely, the report found that the situation in the public sector was very different, ...

The Pensions Regulator urges the industry to offer more guidance to members

Calls for a reform of the open market option have been made by the TPR. Guidance has been released to encourage members to search for suitable annuities. The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has called for a reform of the open market option (OMO) to make it easier for scheme members to make better decisions about their retirement income. TPR has released new guidance in a publication called Making Your Retirement Choices to encourage members to shop around for annuities. The regulator said trustees and providers "could do more to issue clear calls to action while encouraging members to shop around for the best annuity deal".