DWP requests PensionBee’s support on simpler annual statements development

Pensions Minister, Guy Opperman, has written to PensionBee requesting the provider’s support in developing the regulation for mandatory simpler annual benefit statements.

Opperman is seeking input for the regulations that will establish the format of simpler annual benefits statements following the publication of the government’s consultation response in October, where it announced plans for mandatory statements for defined contribution (DC) schemes used for auto-enrolment (AE).

In his letter, Opperman noted that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) intends to consult on the regulations in early spring 2021.

“I want simpler statements to usher in a new standard for how schemes communicate with their members – improving people’s understanding and engagement with their pensions,” he stated.

“I am very aware of the pressures on industry at the moment, but I strongly encourage you to support this work so that together, we can ensure that the regulations work effectively to the benefit of members.”

PensionBee said it shares Opperman’s ambition, after becoming the first provider to adopt simpler statements in 2019.

“We fully support the steps the Minister is taking to mandate the two-page template, and agree that using a consistent and standardised template that can be understood easily by consumers is imperative if we’re to increase engagement, and help savers to achieve better retirement outcomes across the board,” commented PensionBee chief engagement officer, Clare Reilly.

“We are steadfast in our belief that the DWP must compel pension providers to present information on costs and charges in their simpler annual statements, and look forward to sharing our ideas with the Minister in due course.

“This is a long-overdue step towards empowering consumers to compare fees across all of their pots, bringing some much-needed transparency and competition in the market.”

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