Pension policy dissatisfaction on the rise following Mansion House reforms

Two-thirds (66 per cent) of pension professionals believe that pension policy has been dissatisfactory in the past six months, up from 61 per cent last year, according to the Pensions Management Institute (PMI) pulse survey.

In particular, the survey found that a just under a third of respondents (31 per cent) believe that the Mansion House reforms announced by the Chancellor will be effective, while more than six in ten (61 per cent) doubt the changes will lead to the expected increase in investment in UK productive assets.

However, 31 per cent of respondents believe the reforms will have enough cross-party support to be fully implemented in an election year, while 43 per cent believe the reforms will become embedded in UK pensions policy.

The research suggested that the industry also has a negative outlook for the future, as more than three-quarters of respondents (76 per cent) were pessimistic about the direction of policy, with respondents concerned about a lack of communication from the Labour Party on their pension plan policy if it wins the next election.

Furthermore, more than half (53 per cent) doubt that The Pensions Regulator will focus on the right areas in the coming months, with respondents seeing a lack of capacity and political interference as potential issues.

Commenting on the findings, PMI president, Robert Wakefield, said: “Pensions have been close to the top of the Chancellor’s agenda over the past six months as the government looks to deliver its Mansion House reforms as well as other new initiatives such as its pot-for-life programme and pensions dashboard.

“Understandably, the substantial regulatory reforms have left many feeling frustrated at the lack of clear direction in pensions policy.

“The influx of policies makes it look like the government is throwing up ideas, hoping some may be a success without having a long-term plan with industry support.

“There are also concerns that too many pension reforms are happening at the same time without the required resources being available in the industry.

“Our research shows that the industry is increasingly sceptical that many of these changes will now be effectively implemented due to a potential lack of cross-party support.

“Many also want more clarity from the Labour Party, which may be in government in the next six months, on any changes it plans to make to pensions policy.”

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