Irish Life welcomes the Interdepartmental Pensions Reform and Taxation Group’s consultation document on the reform and simplification of pensions. We agree with the view as set out in the consultation document that ease of understanding and confidence in the pension system are critical in encouraging people to save adequately for their retirement.
The reform and simplification of the current system would greatly facilitate any initiatives to expand supplementary pension coverage. We believe that it is important that members can save in the long term with confidence. This requires that members trust that pension schemes will be well run. It requires that members are consistently kept well informed, and can understand their options, so that they can make informed decisions. And it requires a regulatory environment that is stable, in order to support long-term planning.
We believe these outcomes can be best achieved by a system-wide review, coordinated across regulators, that provides consistency across pension products. The key long term challenge facing private pension provision is adequacy of outcomes and ensuring that savers are well prepared for retirement, particularly in an environment of increasing longevity and the ever growing pressure on the sustainability of state pension benefits.
In order for people to be engaged with their retirement needs, pensions choices need to be simple, uniform and communications need to be clear and transparent. However, the key objectives should be that the system is designed in a manner to encourage all workers to save more for their retirement.