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Surveying pensions in the 21st year of the 21st century

Coming out of a year likely to be imprinted permanently on our collective memory, we can all, at least, look forward to creating better times.

Thankfully, the vaccination programme appears to have cleared a path towards preparing for a future in which the pandemic recedes still further. Normality, of some sort, might be beckoning.

Over the last 30-plus years for us, that’s meant working with pensions. The concept of putting something away for life after work has rarely been left unquestioned or, indeed, untouched during these decades.

From the gating of defined benefit schemes in favour of shifting the risk away from employers to employees as defined contribution has mushroomed, little has stood still, even in more tranquil times. And that’s before we consider the impact of political decisions and regulatory constriction.

Pension preparation

But one fundamental is unchanged. The idea that saving for a time when earning a living is behind you is as vital as ever.

Since Punter Southall began life in 1988, our work within this sector has helped hundreds of thousands of people prepare for their retirement.

The central question we have asked ourselves from day one is: what should that retirement look like? Our teams talk to our employer and trustee clients all the time about this foundation and what needs to happen to achieve an outcome that is positive, acceptable and achievable.

As an employer, if you, or those who came before you, took the considerable trouble to put in place a scheme to help you and your colleagues save for life beyond work, is it on still course to do just that?

If the last year has shown us anything, it’s how swiftly life changes, how what is possible suddenly becomes reality.

If anything, the shift of something so far away to suddenly arriving could describe, for many, the looming proximity of unaccountably being within touching distance of your pension.

We wanted to take the temperature of where your scheme, be it defined benefit or defined contribution, finds itself.

Take our survey

By pausing for a few minutes to take our survey, it may help you to reassess whether or not your scheme can deliver the outcome it was set up for.

Are your costs in service of the overall aim, providing a worthwhile income in retirement? Is your savings vehicle still the right choice, years or even decades later?

And when it comes to the ultimate destination for your pension scheme and your legal obligation as either a sponsor or trustee, have you factored that into your thinking?

We don’t want to labour the point, nor descend into detail, but simply seek your brief input into the headline questions addressing key issues which affect us all.

By that token, we will share the survey findings with you, to continue our ongoing conversation on a subject which, we believe, is always worth revisiting.

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Saving for a time when earning a living is behind you is as vital as ever.

View from Punter Southall Wealth: Q1 2021

INSIGHT

Thomas Becket, CIO at Punter Southall Wealth, reflects on Q1 and looks ahead to what the rest of 2021 might have in store.

DISCOVER

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After 40 years of experience in the pensions world, I'm sharing my insights.