Anyone who knows me well, will know I prefer to be an optimist. This is particularly true when it comes to pensions savings and trying to do the right thing by employees.
Although I acknowledge there are lots of if, buts and maybes with auto-enrolment, I am 100% behind it. So I was pleased to see the The Pensions Regulator’s good news that 300,000 staff have now been auto-enrolled into pensions. It has got off to a good start.
But even better news, is that plenty of people haven’t seen this as the end goal. Last month the Association of British Insurers gave shopping around for annuities a big boost, and this week Tesco announced it would launch an annuities comparison service. We need big names all pushing at this to get people to realise the importance of buying the best annuity you can (assuming you have to buy one).
On top of that, new recommendations on governance were announced yesterday by the Work and Pensions Committee. These included a recommendation for the government and industry regulators to investigate ways of helping employers offering contract-based schemes set up governance committees to oversee these. Too many contract-based defined contribution schemes have been left languishing for years without the crucial TLC needed to create decent pension pots for retiring employees. Again, I embrace this move.
There are even moves afoot among the asset managers to up their game when it comes to default funds within contract-based schemes.
We have a long road to hoe, but it appears everyone is pulling in the same direction – not least because we cannot afford not to.