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NAPF backs action on simpler language for pensions

12 January 2011

Guidance aimed at improving pensions communications, published today by the National Employment Saving Trust (NEST) has been backed by the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF).

The guide is based on consumer research, and provides practical examples of how communication on pensions can be made simpler so that more people understand it.

Commenting on the initiative, Joanne Segars, Chief Executive at the NAPF, said:

“Pensions language is often unnecessarily complicated and so risks putting many people off saving into a pension. Initiatives like this, which are aimed at making information on pensions more accessible, are excellent news.

“Clear and easy to understand communication is essential to persuade people about the importance of saving for retirement. The NAPF has long emphasised this and, with its Pensions Quality Mark (PQM) initiative, has set out standards for good communication.”

The PQM recognises employers who offer high-quality defined contribution (DC) schemes to their employees. To be awarded the PQM, employers need to meet different criteria, which range from specific pensions contribution rates and governance to communications.

With its phrasebook guide, NEST is seeking to reverse a trend which sees pensions as a low interest topic for many people. By making pensions more accessible, NEST hopes that more individuals will be encouraged to save for retirement.

The PQM was launched by the NAPF in September 2009. Over 90 schemes now qualify and nearly 160,000 active scheme members are now covered by schemes that carry the Mark. There are two standards, PQM and PQM PLUS.

PQM recognises DC schemes whose total contributions are of 10% cent, with a minimum employer contribution of 6%. PQM PLUS is the superior standard, which recognises DC schemes whose contributions are of at least 15%, with a minimum employer contribution of 10%.

Notes to Editors:

1. A copy of Phrase Book can be downloaded at www.nestpensions.org.uk

2. For further details on the Pension Quality Mark & the Friend of the Pension Quality Mark initiative: http://www.pensionqualitymark.org.uk/ and http://www.pensionqualitymark.org.uk/friendofpqm.php

3. The NAPF is the leading voice of workplace pensions in the UK. We speak for 1,200 pension schemes with some 15 million members and assets of around £800 billion. NAPF members also include over 400 businesses providing essential services to the pensions sector.

Contact:

Paul Platt, Head of Media and PR, NAPF, 020 7601 1717 or 07917 506 683, [email protected]

Christian Zarro, Press Officer, NAPF, 020 7601 1718 or 07825 171 446, [email protected]