PLSA IC 19: Pensions sector must improve ‘trust deficit’ with savers – Butcher

The pensions sector must improve the “trust deficit” between the industry and savers throughout uncertain geopolitical and economic times, the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) chair, Richard Butcher, has warned.

Opening the PLSA Investment Conference today, 6 March, Butcher said that the industry has the opportunity to enhance the sector's relationship with savers, which will lead to people achieving a better income in retirement.

Last year, a PLSA survey found that fewer than one-third of savers trusted the financial services industry, falling to just over 20 per cent among baby boomers.

Butcher said: “The political, economic and financial factors will, inevitably, lead to unsettled markets for some time – but it is this fact that leads us to opportunity.”

“The opportunity to lose the saver but also the opportunity to bring the saver with us. In these tumultuous times, our relationship with the saver is on the brink. We have the chance to enhance it.”

The research also found that 55 per cent of respondents were worried by news stories regarding corporate failures, with just 16 per cent saying they were not worried.
Despite this, Butcher added that 64 per cent of those surveyed trusted their pension scheme to invest their money.

“Why is trust important? Actually this is really simple. We want everyone to achieve a better income in retirement,” he said. “This means more pensioners achieving the standards of living they aspired to. “It means fewer complaints and scandals as savers realise they’ll not achieve those standards. Fewer pensioners living under a cloud of chronic financial insecurity for the most vulnerable years of their lives.”

Butcher also outlined what the industry can expect from the PLSA throughout 2019, including its Retirement Income Targets, as well as continuing its work with the Cost Transparency Initiative.

“The Retirement Income Targets we’re developing with help from across the industry will make the figures real by relating them to people’s lifestyle needs and aspirations,” he said.
“The Cost Transparency Initiative that we’re supporting with the Investment Association and the LGPS Advisory Board – and their members – will create a platform to be clear about costs and explain value for money.”

The conference will explore topics including the complicated global geopolitical environment, climate change risks and the impact of technology.

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