Letter: The critical role of the employers in pensions
Letter to editor – Financial Adviser in response to article entitled ‘Workers will need to make additional pension savings’ on August 16 2012.
Mr Dixon’s views that ‘Workers will need to make additional pension savings’ and ‘employers should support their employees’ are entirely true and need greater recognition. We need to take a long, hard look at how pension funding works and whether current solutions are ‘fit for purpose’ for all employees.
While there has been a huge move to make pensions more flexible and member-specific and our industry understands the need for an income in retirement, members may prioritise a roof over their head, or even a holiday or a car, over their pension.
With almost 300,000 people in the last decade having their home repossessed, two in five marriages failing, and 7 per cent of children being educated privately, we can perhaps see why an event that is often decades away is not high priority.
Auto-enrolment will have a positive impact but, with over a third predicted to opt out, it won’t be the total solution and we need to look at a blended approach to pre and post-retirement solutions.
Employers could and should play a critical role in providing products to support this approach and, along with pensions, they can support medium-term savings of 5-15 years, with a view to this rolling into pension savings.
As typically a company-sponsored savings vehicle, a Corporate ISA can sit extremely well alongside an auto-enrolment proposition and could help reduce the number of people opting out of saving. In the absence of compulsion, the key for retirement funding is getting people into the savings habit early and accepting that pension saving is not everyone’s highest priority.
Director of Investment Services