PASA today delivered the first output from its Benefit Statements Working Group. It was launched last month to evaluate the opportunities and concerns for the pensions community in delivering government’s objectives.
PASA Board Director, Girish Menezes, commented: “The group was set up to explore any structural, regulatory or operational challenges to achieving the government’s ambition for all schemes used for auto enrolment to send out their annual benefit statements within a time-limited window.“
“Consistent messaging around pension savings is imperative and the introduction of a statement season could be a really useful way of engaging and capturing people’s interest. Most will end up with several pension pots over their working life. Having access to core information across all these pots, at the same time each year, would allow them to compare their arrangements and take a holistic view – empowering them to make better informed saving and retirement choices. As with most things, there will be some resource and cost challenges involved with trying to achieve this in a streamlined and synchronised fashion, we have considered these in our paper to come to some sensible conclusions.”
Helen Ball, Chair of the PASA Benefit Statements Working Group and Partner at Sackers, added: “We support the concept of a statement season and believe the potential benefits are clear. However, the idea of common publication and valuation dates need careful consideration. A common valuation date would be unnecessarily cumbersome and not deliver much in the way of ultimate benefit. It’s important for a statement season to work alongside technological enhancements, such as dashboards, to ensure longevity. Access solutions – such as web, post, email – also need careful review. Ultimately, if all of the information is available online throughout the year, the requirement of a statement season naturally falls away over time and any related legislation should take this into account at the outset.”
The full paper can be found here.
PASA Board Member, Girish Menezes, also sits on the Minister for Pensions ‘Statement Season Working Group’.