Nucleus calls for independent long-term savings commission

by | Jan 29, 2024

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Nucleus has reignited its call for an independent long-term savings commission with an open letter to the pensions minister and his counterparts across political parties.

The firm urges there needs to be greater cross-party agreement for pension and savings policy to ensure more people can feel confident about their retirement prospects. 

It has called for a stop to the constant tinkering to pension tax rules, which is deterring people from engaging with the pension system.

Nucleus has written to pensions minister Paul Maynard and shadow minister for pensions Gill Furniss, among others, highlighting that pension savers want to see a stable tax and policy environment. 

The pension legislation merry-go-round of recent years has further eroded trust at a time when people need to be saving more for later life. 

Auto-enrolment has successfully created millions of new savers, but people are not saving anywhere near enough for a comfortable retirement. 

Nucleus highlights the policy, proposed by an independent Pensions Commission in 2005, had wide cross-political party support from the outset and continues to do so today.

It suggests a similar independent body needs to be established now to bring the much-needed consistency to pension savers. 

The letter follows a research study conducted by Nucleus last year in which it asked the thought-provoking question: ‘How confident are you that you’ll have enough money to live comfortably for the rest of your life?’

As part of the 2023 Nucleus UK Retirement Confidence Index, 2,000 adults aged 50 and over were polled by YouGov to gauge how they feel about some of the most important decisions they will need to make around retirement. 

The study highlighted pension savers want to have trust in the long-term savings market. It included consumer and adviser research and demonstrated the need for greater collaboration to effect positive change.

This new annual index will track UK retirement confidence over time. The inaugural report contained 14 calls to action for the industry, policy makers and consumers, around pensions legislation, financial education and communication.

One of the major arguments put forward was the need for an independent long-term savings commission. Nucleus has reiterated this call in the letter. 

Andrew Tully, Technical Services Director at Nucleus and author of the letter, said: “To make meaningful positive change to long-term savings habits, our recent UK Retirement Confidence Index highlighted that we need more people to save more into their pension, to understand why they are saving and what for, and are empowered to save in an environment of trust and stability.  

“Our research suggests constant tinkering and changes to rules has a negative impact on confidence. Setting up an independent long-term savings commission to depoliticise and develop proposals for pension and savings policy would bring much needed consistency and stability, which would deliver greater levels of trust and engagement.”

Nucleus outlines the aim of such a non-departmental public body would be to review the regime for UK pensions and long-term savings and make recommendations accordingly.

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