The Office of National Statistics 2014 Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings provides us with evidence of the considerable impact of Automatic Enrolment within the pensions arena – for employees and employers. According to the survey findings:
With final salary pension schemes traditionally offering a promising level of savings for retirement, moving away from them and into money purchase schemes has normally been seen as an unattractive proposition.
Hymans Robertson, the independent pensions and risk consultancy, says that as a consequence of the retirement revolution from April 2015, current retirees and those retiring before 2016 will have the opportunity to buy additional State Pension before the flat rate State Pension is introduced in April 2016. For some, it could cost much less to secure additional lifetime annual income this way than through buying an open market annuity. Up to 12 million people will be eligible.
One in ten pensioners has been approached by a fraudster looking to gain access to their cash, according to recent research. The study from MetLife found people in South West Britain were most vulnerable to scams with 14% of retirees targeted, compared to just 3% in the East and 5% in Scotland. In a Pension Professionals article, it was reported that the research found people saving for retirement were three times more likely to be approached about accessing their pension pots since the pension freedoms were announced in the 2014 Budget.
The UK has slipped by four places to 22nd in a global survey looking at the countries with the best – and worst – retirement security, according to a recent Professional Pensions article. Switzerland was named the top performer in the Natixis Global Asset Management CoreData Global Retirement Index (GRI), followed by Norway, Australia and Iceland.
From April 2015, those over 55 will be allowed to take as much money from their pension pot as they like, when they like, until the money runs out, dependent on the rules governing their individual pension scheme.