Consultation published on the adoption of simpler statements for workplace pensions

Having previously endorsed work done by the industry to develop an approach to simpler annual benefit statements, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) published a consultation, which closed to feedback in December, on the adoption and delivery of simpler statements for workplace pensions.

The consultation sought views on the principles of short, simple statements, the presentation of information on costs and charges and ownership of the guidance on the assumptions used in the statements and how they can help members identify if their savings are on track.

The DWP’s proposals would require the simpler statements to be presented on no more than two pages, and for them to work alongside innovative communication tools and technology, including the proposed Pensions Dashboards.

Although the DWP accepts that the pensions industry is continuing to invest in the development of simpler pension statements, it is concerned that there will be a lack of consistency across providers and schemes without a ‘sufficiently joined-up’ approach.

​​​​​​​It therefore asked for views on whether adoption should be delivered through voluntary or mandatory approaches.

The consultation received a generally enthusiastic response, with many respondents believing that the simpler annual benefit statement template should be promoted as an example of good practice, and a number of industry figures supported the standardised approach proposed.

However, despite the majority of feedback being positive, there was also criticism of the proposals, with concerns that adopting a standardised, shortened format would lead to important information and key calls to action being left out.

Pensions Minister Guy Opperman has previously said that the government will introduce legislation designed to force schemes and providers to issue short and simple pension statements if they do not take on its recommendations on a voluntary basis.

Posted by Christine Wilson

Topics: Workplace Savings, Pensions

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