Accurate annual income statements tops pension priorities

The inclusion of an actual annual income at retirement within annual pensions statements is the most popular suggestion for innovation in the industry, new research has revealed.

Eversheds Sutherlands and Winmark's report, Future of Pensions, ranked the inclusion of an income within annual statements as the top priority for innovation amongst industry professionals, with a 57 per cent net agreement (people that agreed minus those that disagreed) amongst those surveyed.

Accelerated development of the pensions dashboard and a savings and planning ‘rite of passage’ for young people were ranked second and third respectively, with both receiving a net agreement of 36 per cent.

Meanwhile, extending auto-enrolment to the self-employed was the fourth most popular suggestion, echoing industry calls for better support after the recent news that over 5 million people are now in self-employment.

Whilst respondents were split on the suggestion to remove auto-enrolment opt-out options, its net agreement score of minus 4 per cent pushed it to be the second lowest suggestion.

However, consolidating DB funds into a Pension Protection Fund (PPF) sovereign fund was the least popular suggestion, with a net agreement score of minus 25 per cent.

Commenting on the research, Eversheds Sutherland head of pensions and partner, Francois Barker, said: ““The ‘innovation checklist’ of ideas makes for particularly interesting reading as these are some of the solutions, if correctly implemented, that will make the Future of Pensions a better place for all of us.

"Without a combined effort to tackle these issues by both government and society, whole generations face the threat of simply not being able to enjoy an affordable retirement.

He added: "The pensions landscape remains in a state of flux but what is clear is that we need to transition to a range of new and effective models to ensure that pension provision for the future is adequate and fit for purpose – for all generations of savers, and all groups in a diverse society."

In producing the report, Eversheds Sutherland collated suggestions for industry innovation through interviews and roundtables with “senior pension industry professionals”, and undertook a survey to rank the popularity of each.

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