Lack of reliable data a 'major issue' for pension freedoms innovations

The lack of reliable and detailed data available at individual client level on the way pension freedoms are being used has been highlighted as a “major issue” for pension product innovation in a recent panel discussion from The Pensions Net-Work (TPNW).

Discussing the Work and Pensions Committee’s recent report into pension freedoms, the panel noted that the majority of those accessing pension freedoms would not be in a position to afford advice in light of rising costs.

The role of the Money and Pensions Service (Maps) was therefore described as critical for savers, although TPNW members also raised concerns that Maps was not in a position to support those in later life once they have accessed their pension.

The lack of reliable and detailed data at an individual client level was the greatest concern to panellists, with TPNW chairman, John Moret, agreeing that it is “very surprising that after seven years of pension freedoms there appears to be so little reliable quantitative and qualitative data available on individual client behaviours and preferences”.

Given this, he suggested that it is "hardly surprising" that there has been such a lack of product innovation when providers are having to second guess demand patterns.

"It was encouraging to learn that the Pensions Policy Institute (PPI) is working on a sponsored data project but it appears that actually obtaining reliable data in this area has proved incredibly difficult," he continued.

“I was very surprised when one of our panellists suggested that it will take years to get meaningful information. This really seems to be a missed opportunity in what is still a relatively new part of the pensions landscape.”

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