More than half of savers feel uncertain about what the future holds for their retirement, warns the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF).
30 APRIL 2015 | BY CINTIA CHEONG
A survey of 1,015 UK adults aged over 18 found only 29% of consumers felt recent pensions policy changes, including pension freedoms, had made them more confident about the future of their pension savings, while 56% of respondents felt more uncertain.
As part of NAPF's report The Case for an Independent Retirement Savings Commission, the survey found 53% thought the changes were introduced in order to "chase votes".
Joanne Segars, chief executive at NAPF, said although 5.2m people are saving today thanks to auto-enrolment, there was "a very real discrepancy between this positive progress and how confident, or not, people feel about saving for a pension".
She added: "We believe this is a result of pensions policy driven by short-term priorities and political expediency creating a feeling of uncertainty among many employers that contribute to pensions and the savers that rely on them."
NAPF said an independent retirement savings commission would make sure savers' long-term interests are prioritised. NAPF joined forces with the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and Trade Union Congress to call for such a commission.
The survey further reported 84% agreed an independent commission should be set up by a future government, 85% said it should be politically neutral and the same proportion of respondents said it should be impartial in its recommendations to government.
In addition, 87% said it should focus not just on pensions but also a wider range of issues that affect retirement. Eight in 10 (83%) were in favour of a permanent commission - one that would last longer than one parliamentary term.
Segars said: "A new standing commission will help make sure the long-term interests of savers, not the short-term interests of politicians, are at the heart of pensions policy. That matters because someone starting work today will see eight or nine general elections before they start to draw their pension - eight or nine potential swings of the pensions policy pendulum, which will do little to build saver confidence.
Huw Evans, ABI's director general, said: "For reform to be successful, it must be made with a long-term goal in mind."
The report will be launched today at an event in London where NAPF will make the case for an independent retirement savings commission.