Aegon comments on Government’s levelling up plan

Photo of Steven Cameron
Steven Cameron, Pensions Director at Aegon.

Aegon sets out how the Government’s levelling up agenda could affect pensions and saving for retirement.

Steven Cameron, Pensions Director at Aegon said:

“The Government’s levelling up plan is focussed on geographic disparities in areas such as pay, employment, productivity as well as health and life expectancy. In a bid to level up productivity, the Government is keep to increase investment to stimulate innovation and productive growth across the UK. It hopes greater public sector investment outside the Greater South East will lead to at least twice as much again from the private sector. The Government is already working on removing barriers which currently stop or discourage defined contribution pension schemes from investing in illiquids and other productive finance, and this will become part of the levelling up agenda. The latest plan shows Government also intends to have Local Government Pension Schemes invest £16bn in local projects rather than outside the UK. While investing for UK growth may deliver better returns, it’s important that trustees making pension scheme investment decisions do so with the interests of members as their top priority.

“Levelling up pay and employment across the country should also feed through into levelling up of pension savings which are heavily linked to the world of work. However, the levelling up plan focusses on geographical differences so doesn’t directly tackle the very significant and growing gender pensions gap which sees many women far behind their male counterparts in terms of retirement savings.

“The levelling up plan is also seeking to level up ‘healthy life expectancy’ across the country. Tackling the root causes of why healthy life expectancy is far lower in some parts of the country than others will deliver many benefits. Ill health can be a barrier to people having the choice to continue in employment longer, which can also make a big difference to their retirement prospects.”

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