Simpler pension statements

In the House of Commons on Tuesday pensions minister Guy Opperman said that the Department for Work and Pensions expected all providers to be giving their customers easy-to-understand two-page statements in the near future, and hinted that legislation could be passed to force the issue.

A template for the simplified statement was developed by a joint industry group in the wake of a review of auto-enrolment pensions in 2017 and is already being used voluntarily by some pension providers.

The argument for simpler, standardised pension statements is that it will encourage people to engage more actively with their own arrangements, and enable them to make better decisions around providing for their retirement.

At present, different providers use widely varying terminology, and some firms' statement documents run to tens of pages in length.

Critics of the new model, however, argue that in the process of simplification, key information is left out, such as charges levied on savings.

During the debate on 12 March, Opperman said:

"It is my intention that all private-sector businesses that provide pensions will be giving a simple two-page statement to all their customers. Whether that is done on a voluntary basis or by statute is a matter to be decided."

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