Government proposals for combined pension statements to enable people to make informed choices will prove "pointless" as information on the Pensions Credit will be excluded, a pension expert suggests.
Steve Bee, head of pensions strategy at Scottish Life, says the government's idea to keep people fully informed of their pension savings is a good one, but hardly worth it if proposals remain as the are.
"I'm not too sure it will be worth all the bother," he syas, following revelations combined statements will not inform people of the amount of Pension Credit to which they may be entitled.
Without details of such entitlements, many people will simply have no idea whether they should be saving into a pension or not, Bee adds.
"This is particularly important as replacing the means-tested benefits with pension savings could represent bad value for money for possibly millions of people, as for many the net effect of saving a pound may only make them 60 pence better off and, in some cases, not even that."
This detail in the planning spoils what is otherwise a good improvement, Bee says.
"Done properly this would be a big step forward and do away with many of the complexities and irritations surrounding the giving of advice on pensions at the individual level."
The government intends to push through its proposals on the annual combined statement in the Pensions Act set to become law later this year.
If the proposals remain unchanged, the combined statement would outline all the state pension benefits, such as SERPs and S2P, as well as private pension savings.
Bee believes the government's statement proposal has put it in a "Catch 22" position.
"Should we really be embarking on a massive project leading to the eventual provision of combined benefit statements for everybody, if the statements themselves are not designed to contain details of all our retirement benefits in the first place?"
"Quite apart from the fact that with such a serious omission the statements could be highly misleading for millions of people, there must be better things for us to be wastinig our time on surely?"IFAonline
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