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My Pension Expert takes on the Party Conferences

My Pension Expert have been doing things a little differently this year…

We’ve often spoken in the press about the need to place savers at the heart of all pension policy. However, now we’re going a step further; dipping our toe in the political pool and reaching out to key stakeholders to make sure the voices of UK savers are being heard.

With this in mind, the team felt it would be appropriate to get into the thick of it and, for the first time ever, attend both the Conservative and Labour Party Conferences!

Of course, party conferences take place every year. However, 2023 conferences held particular significance this year…

Why are the 2023 Party Conferences so important?

In the UK, the maximum term of a parliament is five years from the day the sitting parliament first met. This current parliament first met on Tuesday the 17th of December 2019. This means that parliament will be automatically dissolved on Thursday the 17th of December 2024 if an election is not called earlier.

In all likelihood, the conference season just passed could be the final conference before the next general election. This means that many will have viewed these conferences as ways to unofficially launch leadership campaigns and create manifestos.

And, of course, we at My Pension Expert wanted to be involved.

Pensions on the political agenda

Pensions have been hitting the headlines in recent months. Indeed, the affordability of the triple lock, combined with Government concerns about encouraging people to save more as early as possible, have been creeping their way up the political and news agenda for some time.

And it was encouraging to see both Labour and Conservatives expressed an active interest in searching for solutions to these issues. Interestingly, however, many of the policy discussions focused on investments, increasing minimum contributions, and maximising returns for savers. The main concern prompting these discussions being that, at the current rate, younger generations would struggle to retire comfortably.

Across Labour Fringe events, there were also discussions surrounding pension poverty; however, conversations focused on systematic change and support. For example, one panel discussion attended by My Pension Expert discussed monetary support for energy bills, as well as a review of the state pension system and the triple lock.

Further, during Conservative Fringe events, holistic considerations of ageing were discussed; from relationships and cross-generational co-habitation to greater access and awareness of Pension Credits.

These discussions are, of course, important. The UK has an ageing population, and given the pressures on the economy, personal finances, health and social care, changes must be made if we are to develop a sustainable system that supports everyone.

That said, one element seemed to be consistently lacking from mainstream discussion.

Support and engagement

My Pension Expert’s advocacy for access to support and advice is well documented. We’ve spoken widely in the press and with key stakeholders about the need to improve access to affordable advice. We want to make sure that everyone, not just the UK’s highest earners can receive tailored advice to help them achieve the retirement they want.

Whilst many conversations My Pension Expert were involved in assumed that most people simply don’t want to make decisions about their pension and should just accept decisions made on their behalf. However, we don’t think it’s that simple.

Indeed, when considering the Mansion House Reforms, despite the Chancellor promising stronger returns by placing more investments in UK businesses, the public were a bit more sceptical.

Indeed, our own research found that a significant majority (62%) of Britons were not comfortable having more of their pension fund invested in UK businesses. Furthermore, 57% feel that the government is more focused on using their pensions to grow the economy than improving their own outcomes.

These figures suggest that people want to better understand where their pension is invested and how to achieve the best returns possible. However, My Pension Expert’s concern is that there simply aren’t the support mechanisms in place to encourage their level of engagement and understanding.

We’re on your side!

This is why, throughout both conferences, My Pension Expert made it our business to call for improved support for savers to make engaging with pension information easier so they can achieve the retirement they want.

We believe better access to clear guidance, jargon-free personal information, and independent financial advice is vital to achieving this. We want to work with current and future governments to explore ways to make this possible; be it through technology, better information, or alternative methods yet to be discovered.

And this is why we felt it was so important to get involved with the conferences. As political parties are planning their manifestos ahead of the upcoming general election, we are determined to ensure that UK savers are heard and are at the centre of political discussions. It’s your future, after all – you deserve to enjoy it!

Support is here

Whilst we ensure UK savers are put first on the political agenda, any change will take time to implement. However, we are always here for anyone who wants to discuss their pension options and how they can achieve the retirement they want.

We at My Pension Expert are here to help you assess your current situation and help you find the right option to help you reach your retirement goals. Regardless of the policy landscape, we will always be on hand to support you.

If you’d like to speak to a member of the team about your retirement journey, get in touch today!