Is Queen’s Speech signalling good news for pensions?

Maybe, as it seems to confirm the triple lock. Also it seems to indicate that there are to be no major Pension Changes, at least for now.

That’s excellent news for those of us who work in the advice sector and, coupled with the wealth of experience brought by the new Pensions Minister, Ros Altman, more clarity going forward.

New Pensions Minister outlines priorities

In a Departmental news item on the GOV.UK site, Dr Ros Altmann has made a statement regarding her appointment as the new Minister for Pensions.

Dr Altmann, a former independent policy expert, said:

For many years it has been my ambition to make pensions work better for everyone and improve people’s later-life incomes.

Up to now, that has been as an independent policy expert. I am delighted to now have the opportunity to make a difference from within government.

As our population ages, it is more important than ever to help, encourage and empower people to plan and prepare for their later years.

I will take forward work to bring in the new State Pension, help millions more to be enrolled into good quality workplace pension schemes, and safeguard new freedom and choice as to how people access their savings.

Two thirds of over-55s believe financial advice should be compulsory at retirement

Research from MGM Advantage has found that:

  • Two-thirds (65%) of people aged 55 and over who are not yet retired believe that it should be compulsory to receive financial advice at retirement.
    The provider is calling for a clear hand-off to regulated financial advice when people are seeking help to take the next steps at-retirement.
  • More than one third (35%) of people polled said they were not comfortable managing their pension in retirement, which suggests that these people will require on-going advice through their retirement journey.
    Only 11% of people said they were very comfortable managing their pension in retirement.
  • The research also shows that 62% of people who plan to use their pension funds before retiring also think that financial advice should be compulsory.
    This follows the introduction of the new pension freedoms, which allow people with defined contribution pensions’ unfettered access to their savings.

Research was conducted by ComRes with 1,000 UK residents aged 55 and over who are not retired. Data were weighted to be representative of the known profile of UK adults aged 55+ who are not retired. The fieldwork was carried out online between 27 February and 5 March 2015.

My priorities are clear: to strengthen British pensions, improve later life incomes, and protect the pensioners of today and tomorrow.

The Ethical Questions, Corporate Governance and the Environment.

Initiative launched to challenge pension fund managers and trustees over legal duties on climate risk

ClientEarth and the Asset Owners Disclosure Project (AODP) have launched the Climate and Pensions Legal Initiative (CPLI), which aims to work with pension fund members to challenge trustees and managers of pension funds to fulfill their legal duties to protect investments from the financial risks posed by climate change.

According to the AODP’s annual index of 500 of the largest global asset owners, 232 of them had done little or nothing to protect their investments from the financial fluctuations predicted as a result of climate change.