Monday, 22 December 2014

Ten Pension Predictions for 2015

1.       A lack of clear and detailed regulation relating to the new pension freedoms.

As April draws near, many will be shouting loudly for clarity on detail, but it won’t arrive. Political parties will be in election mode and the April ‘new start’ will be hindered by poorly thought out regulation.

2.       Increasing pension scams.

Inevitable with the new pension freedoms. And frequent too, until the new systems get bedded in and the new government knows what to do.

3.       Appalling pension headlines.

Probably led by the Daily Mail as usual. People defrauded of pensions. People confused by the new freedoms. Anything to sell a paper.

4.       Quiet success with new products offering good customer value.

Probably won’t make the Daily Mail, but many providers will successfully navigate the new legislation and come up with quality, innovative products at a reasonable cost.

5.       New quality systems.

This has been ongoing since auto-enrolment was announced, but providers are making good strides with new data management tools integrated to pension provision. Again, unlikely to trouble the Daily Mail headline makers.

6.       Covenant worries.

No predictions here on a Russia collapse, Islamic militants and all the rest, but whatever happens in the world affects investments. And with that in mind, trustee covenant concerns regarding the remaining DB plans will increase.

7.       Adverts relating to not cashing in your pension.

As the new freedoms kick in, how long before we see adverts and articles relating to the need to think before you spend?  In Australia (a country we seem to be mimicking re pensions) it’s called ‘double dipping’ - people who spend their pension and then live off the Sate.

8.       Strengthened DC governance.

Whatever government is in power, I expect some firmer legislation around DC governance and management, akin to trustee governance.

9.       Pension Apps that work.

With a continued move to everything being in front of you on a smart phone, pension apps will come of age.

10.   Closure of small and medium pension schemes.

Whether DB or DC, there will be closures, mergers and buy-outs of smaller schemes, as the new legislation and auto-enrolment continue to change the landscape.

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