Guest Comment: Making pensions easy

Written by PLSA policy lead: engagement, EU and regulation James Walsh

I was discussing with PLSA colleagues the perennial question of how to get people more engaged with their pension saving.

You only have to glance at your own smartphone to see the direction this is likely to take. It’s not just that we now have the technology to improve the way we engage with people about pensions. We also have willingness and commitment in the form of three industry initiatives to form a framework that could really succeed.

The first is the pensions dashboard, intended to show people all their pension entitlements in one view. The dashboard will help people see how much they have and where to go for further information on any of their pensions.

Our Retirement Income Targets proposal will show people what kind of retirement lifestyle they could afford on three different levels of income. Together with the help of the dashboard and online calculators, the targets will enable someone to easily see how much more they need to save for the lifestyle they want.

The third piece is all about making pensions information easy to understand. Former PLSA chair Ruston Smith is leading work to develop a simpler, standardised annual pension statement that will be much clearer for savers. I hope this will be embedded in the dashboard and across all providers’ communications.

All of a sudden it feels like the future is just around the corner and there are exciting times that will help ensure everyone is able to get a better income in retirement.

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