Preparing for the golden years: How to improve pensions advice and guidance in the UK

With four out of five private sector employees now saving in a workplace pension (up from two out of five in 2012) pensions auto-enrolment is arguably one of the great policy successes of the past decade.

However, higher rates of pension participation is just one step to ensuring individuals have adequate retirement funds. By only making minimum contributions into pension pots, many are not saving enough for a comfortable retirement income. Furthermore, increased pension freedoms, allowing lump sum drawdowns, raise the prospect of individuals making poorly informed decisions with respect to relatively large sums of money.

How can we ensure that higher rates of pension participation coincide with sufficient levels of guidance and financial education to enable individuals to make informed decisions about their pensions? What does effective pensions advice and guidance look like, and what prevents individuals from seeking advice and guidance in the first place?

At this event, the Social Market Foundation, in partnership with Phoenix Group, hosted a virtual event launching new research which seeks to answer these questions.

Following a presentation summarising the SMF’s new research paper,  a panel of experts discussed how pensions advice and guidance can be improved to ensure that individuals can make the best of their retirement incomes as they prepare for their golden years.

The SMF’s new report looking at how to improve pensions advice and guidance is sponsored by Phoenix Group and is available to read here. For media enquiries please contact press@smf.co.uk


Nigel Mills MP, Member of the Work and Pensions Select Committee

Andy Curran, CEO, Savings and Retirement, Phoenix Group

Michelle Highman, Chief Executive, The Money Charity

Scott Corfe, SMF Research Director and author the new report


James Kirkup, Director, Social Market Foundation

Follow the live thread @SMFthinktank.


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