Department for Work & Pensions  

Mid-life MOTs in danger of being ineffective

Mid-life MOTs in danger of being ineffective

The government should be giving a "good deal more thought" about how mid-life MOTs can operate if these are to be introduced effectively, a Lords committee has warned.

In a 114-page long report published last week (April 25), the House of Lords committee on intergenerational fairness and provision noted that mid-life MOTs cannot be "a one-off, discrete event" and are most effective when viewed as part of a process of good management.

The idea of introducing a mid-life MOT came from John Cridland, independent reviewer of the state pension age, who proposed this review as a way to encourage people to plough more cash into retirement savings.

The Department for Work and Pensions has been promoting the concept ever since.

The Lords stated the government’s efforts to encourage mid-life MOTs were in danger of missing those most in need of support, including individuals who work for employers that lack the capacity to provide them and those outside the workforce.

On the other hand, providing a single statutory MOT at a fixed age to every employee would lack flexibility and might lead to "waste", they added.

In response to the report, a DWP spokesperson said: "In February we launched a web page which brings together money, job and health elements of the mid-life MOT.

"We have been working with Public Health England, and providers such as the National Careers Service, The Pensions Advisory Service and Money Advice Service to consider how best to signpost individuals to mid-life MOT information.

"We also continue to engage with employers such as Aviva and Legal and General, who have piloted MOTs for their staff, which we welcome."

After a pilot conducted in 2018, Aviva will be rolling out its mid-life MOT to its employees aged 45 and over next week, Alistair McQueen, the provider’s head of savings and retirement, told FTAdviser.

He said: "The House of Lords are asking to be convinced of the power of a mid-life MOT. This is a challenge to which Aviva is keen to rise.

"Our 2018 pilot demonstrated the huge potential value of an MOT in boosting employee confidence. We hope to see these benefits accelerated in 2019. And we will share our insights with all concerned, including the government."

He added: "Aviva is one of one million employers in the UK. The House of Lords are correct in saying that the benefits of the MOT must be shared beyond the walls of just Aviva. If the UK can do this, the return on employer and government investment could be huge."

maria.espadinha@ft.com