19 April 2012
In a speech to the City UK pensions conference Consumer Panel Vice Chair Kay Blair has called for Defined Contribution pensions that focus on the needs of employees, offering simplicity in terms of process, products and increased certainty about outcomes. This means improving and simplifying what is on offer and providing access to meaningful advice, so that employees can make better choices. Terms must be understandable, charges reasonable and there has to be an appropriate means of redress if things go wrong.
Kay Blair is also Vice Chair of the Insurance and Reinsurance stakeholder group of EIOPA, the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority.
Kay Blair commented:
“We welcome any new and helpful ideas for pensions and look forward to seeing more detail on the Government’s proposals as to how defined aspiration schemes will operate. There is clearly a major challenge in getting consumers to provide adequately for their retirement. Above all else, consumers need certainty, value for money together with fair and transparent charging. Any scheme brought forward must be reasonable.
All too often however the employee is not viewed as the end customer. It is vital that employees are more involved and that there is absolute clarity if there is to be risk sharing for defined aspiration schemes.
Employees need clarity from the Government, effective governance of schemes, as well as easy to understand pension schemes so that they can make appropriate provision for retirement. There also has to be effective joined up regulation if consumers are going to have the confidence to invest in their pension.”
Notes to editors
- The Consumer Panel is a statutory body under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and was initially established by the Financial Services Authority in December 1998. The Panel advises the FSA on the interests and concerns of consumers and reports on the FSA's performance in meeting its objectives.
- The emphasis of the Panel's work is on activities that are regulated by the FSA, although it may also look at the impact on consumers of activities outside but related to the FSA's remit. More information about the Panel's work is available on our website.
- Panel members are appointed to serve a maximum of two terms of three years