The NAPF held its third and final research event for 2012 on Friday November 30. The event, Lifting the Lid on DC Pensions, had around 60 delegates in attendance, and the programme for the afternoon did not disappoint.
Rounding up a year that has, among other things, focused on annuities and charges, the first part of the event was dedicated to the launch of the Institute for Fiscal Studies’ report Expectations and Experience of Retirement in Defined Contribution Pensions: A study of older people in England. The report, co-funded by the NAPF and the ESRC, looks at the knowledge, awareness and expectations of DC savers who are close to turning their accumulated pension pots into retirement income. Gemma Tetlow, Programme Director at the IFS for Public Finances and the Pensions Sector, presented IFS’s findings which showed that people are underestimating their life expectancy, overestimating their retirement savings and are therefore likely to be disappointed in the annuities they are offered.
Jane Vass at Age UK provided a consumer perspective in response to the IFS’s research report, drawing on the IFS report’s finding that people in their fifties would have to save at a median an extra £20,200 before retirement to make up the difference between what they expect in retirement and what they would actually receive if their pension fund is annuitised at current market rates and walking delegates through some of the issues that concern older adults around pensions and annuities.
The second half of the event focused on the work undertaken on pension scheme charges this past year, including the recently published Pension Charges Made Clear: Joint Industry Code of Conduct. Alistair Kuechel, Associate Director at IFF Research, presented findings from the qualitative research with employers this summer on their understanding of pension charges and their interest in the Charges Guide developed by the Working Group. Jamie Fiveash, Director of Customer Solutions at B&CE who co-funded the research with the NAPF responded to this research by looking at the use and accessibility of advice by employers and the rates of charges levied on pension pots under auto-enrolment.
The evening concluded with a presentation by Andrew Wood, Research Director at RS Consulting, who walked delegates through the research he conducted for the DWP on charging in the current pension landscape. Andrew’s presentation focused on employer knowledge of charges, on scale and on the variables that drive up AMCs.
The deck of presentations for this event is now available here.