More than two-thirds of UK pension professionals are not yet prepared for the consequences of the far-reaching retirement changes announced by Chancellor George Osborne in this years Budget, a poll by Aon Hewitt has claimed.
A survey of more than 300 professionals found that although a majority of respondents admitted that they were not well prepared now, they were confident they could hit the April 2015 target as the reforms are implemented.
Among the changes announced in March was the end of an obligation to buy an annuity with pension savings.
Aon senior partner Kevin Wesbroom said the Budget changes were fundamental for both defined benefits and defined contributions schemes.
'Sponsors and trustees need to stand back from their schemes and ask some fundamental questions about how they see their relationship with members,' he said.
'They then need to align their administrative processes, member communication and education systems to support their decisions.'
Aon also asked the professionals whether they expected to be able to make the process and systems changes needed to offer the best options after the reforms are introduced. One in five said they were not confident and would need significant extra resources, either in terms of time, money, or external support.
Wesbroom highlighted that the vast majority of the DB schemes polled predicted a 'sizeable minority' of their members would look to take advantage of the Budget flexibilities.
'So, as well as reviewing the various actuarial factors involved - cash equivalent transfers, commutation rates etc - schemes will need a coherent plan for how and when they present the new options to their members,' he added.