Pension policy satisfaction declines after Pension Schemes Bill delays

The industry’s overall satisfaction with the direction of pensions policy has dropped from 90 per cent in February 2019 to 51 per cent in November 2020, according to the Pensions Management Institute (PMI).

The PMI’s Pulse survey showed the deterioration in satisfaction and noted that the drop was probably “partly due to the delays in the Pension Schemes Bill”, while optimism about future policy also remains low.

Just a third (33 per cent) of respondents said they were optimistic about the next six months of pension policy in the latest round of the survey, down from 35 per cent in May and January of 2020, and 70 per cent in July 2019.

However, the survey also found that more than three-quarters (76 per cent) of pension professionals are satisfied with The Pensions Regulator’s (TPR's) actions over the last six months, up from 73 per cent in June 2020 and 54 per cent in January 2020.

PMI president, Lesley Alexander, said: “As we continue with our Pulse survey it has been important to understand how our members see the developments in pensions policy and where TPR’s has put its focus. Given the torrid time the economy, industry and savers have endured this year due to Covid-19, it’s no surprise that overall sentiment has dropped."

She added that it was encouraging “to see that satisfaction with TPR’s actions over the last six months has improved”, noting that the regulator appeared to have “struck the right balance between easing the burden on employers during the pandemic while also continuing to protect the interests of members”.

Alexander concluded: “The guidance published on what trustees should be doing to respond and the impact on employer covenant and funding was seen as helpful and pragmatic. This needs to be ongoing and, hopefully positive sentiment will only increase next year as TPR supports the industry through the current pandemic, Brexit, and recession.”

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