The Association of Consulting Actuaries (ACA) calls on political parties to show transparency on plans for the state retirement age.
ACA warns of increasing taxes as a result of the increases on offer in State Pensions and increased longevity, as no political party manifesto has addressed the state retirement age.
The ACA has published its discussion newsletter highlighting the State and private pension plans from the main parties leading up to the General Election and criticises the 'poverty of ideas' from the parties in addressing how occupational pension schemes might be encouraged, calling proposals, ‘thin at best’.
The firm points to a survey it put out last week showing 68% of firms believe current policies to promote occupational pensions are not having the desired affect, while 62% of firms add the new 2004 Pensions Act will only further reduce occupational provision.
ACA chairman, Adrian Waddingham says: “The 2004 Pensions Act fails to address the bigger tragedy that far fewer employed people are now offered good work-place pensions. The prospects do not look good for those retiring in 20 years time. Politicians should be looking far beyond the life of one Parliament to address the pensions problems."
The firm also questions the parties’ disposition towards auto enrolment, additional member-nominated trustees and kite marking of schemes regarding occupational pensions.
It believes a minority of employers will only take up auto enrolment, while kite marking would be difficult to apply. It argues Government, employers and pension bodies should, come together and promote ‘good’ pension schemes to include schemes that share risks such as low-cost defined benefit schemes, with lower targeted benefits.
Moreover, the actuaries firm points to an ‘apparent abandonment’ of pension simplification by the current Government. It says more than 1600 pages of regulations, explanatory memoranda, codes, guides and the like have been issued in one month since March, with more expected from the 2004 Pensions Act adding further costs put on schemes from the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) will also affect pension provision.
Waddingham says: “None of the manifestos encourage any great confidence that the burden of regulation will be genuinely addressed.”
If you have any comments you would like to add to this story or would like to speak to its author about a similar subject, telephone Gareth Vorster on 020 7968 4554 or email [email protected].IFAonline
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