"Worrying" drop in stakeholder uptake

03 June 2004
Statistics from the ABI identified a fall of 22 per cent in the sales of stakeholder pensions for the first quarter of 2004.

John Jory, deputy chief executive of B&CE Benefit Schemes, said the figures were worrying from the government's perspective as it "severely impacts" on confidence levels.

He urged the government to continue the process of pension simplification and providing incentives for people, in the workplace, to save for their retirement.

He said: "The government needs to send out a clear message to employees that by saving, individuals will be rewarded in retirement."

"The simplicity of stakeholder pensions and the one per cent charging cap plays a major part in making stakeholder pensions the most appropriate vehicle for delivering pensions to workers in the UK.

"We have successfully delivered the stakeholder model to the construction industry and we believe that there is no reason why this should not be a primary vehicle for delivering retirement income to workers in the UK."

Mr Jory continued: "The workplace is the natural environment to deal with pensions and recent independent research, conducted on B&CE's behalf, revealed that 41 per cent of workers were prompted to start saving for retirement as a result of information provided by employers."

"We recently gave evidence to the Treasury Select Committee as part of their inquiry into long term savings and it is clear to most people that there is a big gap when it comes to lower and middle income saving. This is the time for action."