5 key insights from the Big Pensions Debate experts

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By Hannah Downie, CA Today

13 June 2018

Ahead of ICAS’ inaugural Challenging Conversations event on pensions, our expert panellists shared their thoughts on some of the hot topics.

Award-winning financial journalist Merryn Somerset Webb hosted the debate and was joined by an expert panel of speakers:

  • Maggie Craig, Head of the FCA’s Scotland office
  • Jamie Jenkins, Head of Pensions Strategy, Standard Life
  • Clare Reilly, Head of Corporate Development, PensionBee
  • Henry Tapper, Founder of the Pension PlayPen
  • Rob Yuille, Head of Retirement Policy at the ABI

Jamie, can industry incumbents make the gear shift to engage pension savers or will it be up to Fintech?

"Fintech is part of the solution, but the real change will come as people’s pots begin to grow.

"The key will be to make communications – in any medium – timely, targeted and relevant."

Millennials don’t like the word ‘pension’ – how can industry begin to engage them?

"The fact that people in the States can identify with ‘401Ks’ – when this actually represents the legislative reference under which they’re established – suggests there’s more to it than changing the name…"

Find out what Jamie thought was the most important issue for industry to address by reading our Big Pension Debate highlights.

Maggie, what challenges have the freedom and choice reforms brought to the FCA?

"The pension freedoms introduced highly significant changes at retirement.

"Our initial challenge was to introduce the necessary rule changes on time.

"Our ongoing challenge is to monitor and supervise this market as the changes have bedded in and the market has responded."

Clare, do you think the pensions dashboard will be able to achieve its aim?

"The dashboard will achieve its aims of ownership and reuniting people with old pots if it is allowed to progress in a lean-tech way.

"We are of the view that anything is better than nothing, while others have said they won’t support the dashboard unless it’s all-singing all-dancing from the start, in terms of coverage and information per pension.

"A lot of people have said consumers will get switched off if the dashboard doesn’t have full coverage..."

Find out if Clare agreed by reading our debate review.

Rob, what are the 3 key challenges for retirement "defaults"?

"Industry and policy-makers need to find solutions for people who cannot make complex retirement decisions. But any solution comes with challenges. 

"1. How tailored is it? A customer will likely reach a better outcome if their retirement income takes account of their health and their dependents. This will also inform what they're invested in, and the key decision: how much to take out. 

"2. Is it advice? People need simple communications and access to guidance to help them make decisions. But the more tailored this guidance becomes, the more it looks like a personal recommendation. The FCA needs to give examples of how solutions like this can be delivered without advice."

Rob revealed his third key challenge on the night. Read more about the issues that were debated.


  • Pensions
  • Thought leadership
  • Challenging Conversations

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