The kaleidoscope has been shaken and there is now a fractured picture in pensions, which the whole industry and government must work together to make easier to understand.
This was the sentiment expressed by Gregg McClymont, former shadow pensions minister and now head of retirement savings for Aberdeen Asset Management, at the FTAdviser Retirement Freedoms Forum in Chepstow.
Addressing a packed room from an expert panel, Mr McClymont said his “jaw had indeed been on the floor” when George Osborne made his announcement on 19 March 2014, but agreed that the rich margins of the old annuity world had to change.
Yet despite the change and the ensuing freedom, there was still confusion and apathy.
He said: “We must work out how to harness inertia. If we want the mass of savers to save more, we have to harness inertia.”
John Moret, fellow panellist and founder of MoreToSipps, agreed that the mass market would need some new solutions to help them ensure their pension savings could last through retirement.
Mr Moret said: “It is clear from the FCA’s September data collection study that the majority of those people taking their cash are those with small pots.
“At the other end of the spectrum are those with upwards of £150,000 who have probably been clients of yours for years and understand investment and risk. Perhaps for these clients, new solutions are not needed.
“But for the mass market, those with £30,000 to £150,000, some new product – some form of innovation – will be needed”.
Gregg McClymont was shadow pensions minister between 2011 and 2015, when he lost his Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East seat to the SNP. He has since joined Aberdeen Asset Management as head of retirement savings.