PLSA comments on FCA Retirement Outcomes Review interim report

12 July 2017

The FCA has today published the interim findings of the Retirement Outcomes Review, the first major comprehensive study into how the retirement income market is changing since the pension freedoms.

Commenting on the interim findings Tim Gosling, Policy Lead: DC, Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, said:

"The FCA's interim retirement outcomes review makes for disturbing reading. Without timely action now, those retiring in the near future who are dependent on defined contribution (DC) pots and who have no access to advice will not receive the retirement they hope for.

“We need two things. First, we need a smoother customer journey at retirement that makes the line of least resistance an income product rather than cash. This may mean a form of "soft" default, intended to preserve consumer choice but designed to connect savers to the income 84% say they want1.

 “Second, we need a new generation of high quality retirement income products. These need to have strong independent governance and be suitable for those needing an income but who do not have access to advice. Government and the FCA should be mindful of lessons learnt in the workplace pensions market after the 2013 Office of Fair Trading Report to ensure product quality and also ensure they are open to fresh thinking about how to stimulate the development of new products.

“Over half (52%) of fully withdrawn pots have not been spent but moved into other retirement savings or investment vehicles – with associated tax, investment and benefit risks. The report suggests that this may be due to lack of public trust in pensions so we need to work hard to address this issue by helping the industry to evolve to meet the expectations of consumers saving for and transitioning into retirement.

“The industry does not have long to get this right."

-Ends-

NOTES TO EDITORS:

[1] Pension Freedoms: Breaking the deadlock - Understanding Retirement: Wave II Interim Report - page 11

ABOUT THE PENSIONS AND LIFETIME SAVINGS ASSOCIATION

We’re the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association; the national association with a ninety year history of helping pension professionals run better pension schemes. Our members include over 1,300 pension schemes with 20 million members and £1 trillion in assets, and over 400 businesses. They make us the voice for pensions and lifetime savings in Westminster, Whitehall and Brussels.

Our purpose is simple: to help everyone to achieve a better income in retirement. We work to get more money into retirement savings, to get more value out of those savings and to build the confidence and understanding of savers.

PRESS CONTACTS

Lee Blackwell, Head of Media & PR, Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association
T: 020 7601 1726, M: 07713 073 023, E: lee.blackwell@plsa.co.uk

Kathryn Mortimer, Press Officer, Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association
T: 020 7601 1748, M: 07901 007713, E: kathryn.mortimer@plsa.co.uk