WPC launches final stage of pension freedoms inquiry

WPC launches final stage of pension freedoms inquiry

The Work and Pensions Committee has introduced the third and final stage of its inquiry into the impact of pension freedoms which will look into how people save for later life.

The inquiry will focus on whether households have enough pension savings for retirement and how the government can improve outcomes for individuals.

It will look at issues around auto-enrolment, retirement income targets and guidance and advice.

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In addition, it will look into what support is available for the self-employed and gig economy workers and possible measures to close the gender pensions gap.

Advisers can submit their thoughts here.

Stephen Timms, chairman of the Work and Pensions committee, said: “Making sure the right support and encouragement to save is in place from the very start of people’s working lives should be a key part of pensions policy if everyone is to benefit from a secure and comfortable retirement. 

“Our inquiry will examine the impact on saving rates of both auto-enrolment and advice to savers and whether there are changes that could be made to boost the incomes of pensioners.

“With a rising number of people in precarious forms of work, the inquiry will also look at how self-employed people and those in the gig economy can be helped to save for their pensions to ensure they do not miss out later on in life.”

The latest stage comes after the committee ran two prior stages looking at pension scams and accessing pension savings. 

The report on pension scams was published in March, while the committee is due to make recommendations in the new year on the options open to people when they come to access their pensions, as well as the advice and guidance which is available.

Jon Greer, head of retirement policy at Quilter, said: “After assessing whether pension savers have the protections necessary to avoid pension scams, and having looked at how savers make decisions on accessing their pensions, the committee will now turn its attention to whether pension savers are contributing enough into their pensions, and whether further steps should be taken by the government to help people plan for retirement.

“We know that many in the UK are at risk of having inadequate savings to fund their desired lifestyle in retirement. This is particularly true of underpensioned groups, who are less likely to have private pension savings to supplement their state pension and indeed may not have any private pension saving at all.”

The deadline for written evidence is February 2, 2022.

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