UK Plan Sponsors Should Do More to Support Second Pillar Pensions
22 August 2012 (PLANSPONSOREurope.com) - Moves by the UK government to simplify first pillar pensions should provide UK plan sponsors with the impetus to do more to support second pillar pensions, Malcolm McLean, consultant at Barnett Waddingham has told PLANSPONSOR Europe.
Yesterday the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) released a statement in which they estimate that the amount of state pension money paid out to pensioners can differ by more than £200 a week – a difference of £10,000 a year due to the way the level of basic and additional state pension pay-outs can vary so much in the current system.
To rectify the anomaly the government is to replace the current state pension made up of the basic state pension and various additional state pension entitlements with a simple flat-rate state pension for new pensioners set above the level of the means test, currently estimated at around £140 a week. A White Paper will set out further details later this year.
McLean told PLANSPONSOR Europe “You are still going to have people falling short of the £140 a week and others getting more than that. The very point that the DWP have made that you have got this great variation at the moment in this brave new world where everything is simplified is not correct. You are still going to have a great range of pensions but if you take the underlying philosophy of trying to give people upon which to save then the idea is good. The devil is in the detail of how they will achieve this.
“It ought to encourage employers to provide as much support as they can to their own provision in the knowledge that people are going to gain from it because at the moment you have a situation where people that join a pension scheme don’t actually gain that much because when they get their pension it is absorbed into any means tested benefit that they may or not be entitled to because they have this extra pension so they are saving for nothing or very little.”