IDS blasts ‘pathetic’ Labour response to pensions review

Both the BBC and the Daily Telegraph, informed by comments from Tom McPhail, head at pensions research at Hargreaves Lansdown, said this “suggests the review will look at whether the retirement age should rise even if life expectancy slows”.

The government said it would consider changes in life expectancy, as well as wider changes in society, and “make sure that the state pension is sustainable and affordable for future generations”.

Royal London also found workers in some parts of the United Kingdom typically face working more than five years longer than those in other areas to maintain their current standard of living when they retire.

Last year’s pension freedom reforms risk “unravelling” the pension system as retirees are no longer forced to secure a retirement income, a review for the Labor party has warned.

It also believes the government should provide consumers with a voucher to pay towards advice at the point of retirement as six in ten (63%) people would be more likely to use an adviser if they received a voucher, increasing to three-quarters (74%) of those with a stakeholder pension.

“However, given we have yet to reach the minimum level of automatic enrolment contributions, insisting on this now would be premature”.

To achieve a so-called “Silver Standard” the combined pension would be able to replace half of pre-retirement income, be inflation proof and leave a 50% pension for a surviving spouse, and the same worker would need to work until they were 71.

The findings were published by the Independent Review of Retirement Income (IRRI), which was set up in 2014 by Labor to review the pensions market.

Minister for Pensions Baroness Ros Altmann said she was confident Cridland will produce a carefully considered review of an issue which affects the lives of millions of people.

The warnings come as the Government launches a review of the state pension age – which experts think will see the benefit not being available until employees now joining the workforce have reached their 70s – to be led by former CBI director general John Cridland. If not, the review should set out how the system might better support these objectives.

The state pension age has been undergoing changes since 2010 so that its long-standing level of 60 for women will equalize with men at 65.

Those under the age of about 55 could be affected by the shake-up, which will consider what the state retirement age should be from April 2028.

Royal London said an average earner who starts saving for a pension aged 22 and makes the minimum statutory contributions would need to work until the age of 77 to get the “gold standard” pensions enjoyed by many of their parents’ generation.

It calls on the government to do more to ensure individuals save more.

Cridland has been tasked with recommending future state pension age arrangements, including what would be a suitable retirement age.

Other recommendations include transferring the power of the Financial Conduct Authority to regulate contract-based schemes to the Pensions Regulator which already regulates trust-based schemes, to create a single pensions regulator.

Dominic Lipinski  PA Wire

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