Reading time: 5 minutes

What Policy Changes do Pension Planners Really Want to See?

It’s that time of year again: Party Conference Season.

You can’t open a newspaper, or turn on the television without seeing a politician – be they Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, or another political affiliation – announcing a policy that promises to improve the future of the United Kingdom.

Whilst these activities take place on an annual basis, this year seems to have a feeling of urgency about it. Indeed, even though this is likely because a general election is on the horizon. Whilst no date has been confirmed as yet, it is widely speculated that an election will be called sooner rather than later.

It is understandable, therefore, that politicians are keen to get a head-start in the polls and announce policies which they deem to be ‘winners’ with the public.

However, the question we at My Pension Expert wanted to ask is what policies do pension planners really want to see?

What Do YOU Want?

To cut through the noise of the headlines, we decided to survey 2,000 UK adults, asking them what policies they wanted to see future governments commit to.

The results were decisive. The highest on pension planners’ agenda was a commitment to the state pension triple lock, with over a third (36%) of survey participants placing it in their top three most desirable policies.

In second place with almost a quarter (23%) of the vote, was the desire for the government to outline UK pension scheme protection measures against economic volatility.

Joint third were ‘increasing the amount you can contribute to your pension pot each year while still receiving tax benefits from doing so’ and ‘making new legislation to make it quicker and easier to transfer pensions between providers’; both of which received 20% of the vote.

After these, Britons called for ‘implementing reforms to increase transparency around pension regulations’ (19%) and ‘fast-tracking the implementation of the government’s pension dashboard’ (18%).

What Does it Mean?

Whilst these findings are telling when it comes to the country’s pension policy preferences, the key will be whether governments (both sitting and future), will take the nations’ considerations on board.

For example, it is evident that the triple lock is at the forefront of many peoples’ minds. This is understandable, given that many people approaching retirement will be incorporating their state pension into their strategy. Thus, confirmation regarding the triple lock’s future will be vital to facilitate sustainable long-term pension planning.

However, neither party has outright committed to this policy. Nor have they provided any certain answer regarding its future; citing its affordability as a reason to ‘wait and see’ what they can afford after the election.

Throughout the policy asks, there seems to be an underlying trend of requiring support and sustainability. From pension scheme protections to access to independent financial advice, it is clear that the public are focusing on long-term, sustainable policy with will enable them to retire comfortably in the years to come, not just policies for the next parliamentary sitting.

What Next?

Pension policy won’t change overnight. It will take careful consideration, consultations, and development to ensure that governments can create a system that works for everyone.

As such, there could be scope to depoliticise pension policy altogether. For too long, we have seen pension policy being used as a mechanism to win votes. Perhaps, after the next election, this could be one policy area where we have productive cross-party collaboration to ensure policies that will truly create a financially optimistic future for retirees.

And through this collaboration, politicians can effectively work with stakeholders across the sector, involving advisers, providers, and regulators alike to ensure there is a genuine effort to implement long-term positive change.

Support When You Need It

Of course, such policy change cannot happen overnight. It will take time to develop and implement.

However, pension planners needn’t wait for change to explore their retirement options and set themselves up for the type of retirement they want. Affordable independent financial advice, like My Pension Expert, arehere to help you find the best retirement option to suit your needs and support you all throughout the initial process and beyond.

Pension policy is a complex political minefield. However, our research has shown that the public has a clear idea of how they envisage the future of UK pensions. We certainly hope that the governments take notice, and work together to create a long-term solution to the UK’s pension needs.