Work and Pensions Committee to examine later life saving

The government has confirmed that the Work and Pensions Committee is to examine saving for later life and what more needs to be done to help people plan for their retirement.

This is the third and final part of the Committee’s inquiry into the impact of the pension freedoms and the protection of savers.

The inquiry will now focus on whether households have adequate pension saving for retirement and how the government can improve outcomes for savers. Issues around auto-enrolment, retirement income targets and guidance and advice are to be examined while the Committee will also look into the support available for the self-employed and gig economy workers.

The Committee’s inquiry on the pension freedoms, which were introduced in 2015 with the aim of giving people aged over 55 more control over their savings, has also examined pension scams and accessing pension savings.

Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, Stephen Timms, commented: “Our inquiry will examine the impact on saving rates of both auto-enrolment and advice to savers and whether there are changes that could be made to boost the incomes of pensioners.

“With a rising number of people in precarious forms of work, the inquiry will also look at how self-employed people and those in the gig economy can be helped to save for their pensions to ensure they do not miss out later on in life.”

Commenting on the latest stage of the inquiry, Quilter head of retirement policy, Jon Greer, added: “We know that many in the UK are at risk of having inadequate savings to fund their desired lifestyle in retirement. This is particularly true of under-pensioned groups, who are less likely to have private pension savings to supplement their state pension and indeed may not have any private pension saving at all.

“It is the self-employed, in particular, that need close attention. With the rise of the gig economy and self-employment, more and more see it as a way of improving their quality of life. But this comes at a cost to pension security through lack of access to auto-enrolment schemes.”

The Work and Pensions Committee said it will be taking evidence through the early part of 2022, and confirmed a deadline of Wednesday 2 February for written evidence to be submitted.

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