Seven years on since the ‘biggest shake up’ to the UK pension system but pensions are still causing confusion for consumers

02 Apr 2013

  • Pension simplification rules (A-Day) have done nothing to make the complex UK pension system easier to understand, say 83% of financial advisers on 7th anniversary
  • Of the big pension regulatory changes, a third of advisers (33%) believe cutting the annual pension tax-free allowance, currently £50,000, has damaged pension saving most
  • Half of advisers (50%) think Government should leave pensions alone for the next five years
  •’s  financial advisers give their verdict on pensions legislation and predictions for the future of retirement planning

As the seventh anniversary of A-Day (6th April) nears, heralded as the biggest shake up to UK pensions, research from, the ‘find an adviser’ website, reveals 83% of financial advisers think that the UK pension landscape has become more complicated since 2006. 

The survey1 of 160 financial advisers, shows that a third (33%) think decreasing the annual tax-free allowance, currently £50,000, has had the worst effect on pension saving since 2006.  This was followed by A-Day (26%), and decreasing the lifetime pension tax-free allowance (18%), currently £1.5m.  One in ten financial advisers (10%) said scrapping the default retirement age of 65 has had the biggest negative effect.

Table 1: What is the biggest pension legislation change to negatively affect UK pension provision over the last 7 years?

Decreasing the annual pension tax-free allowance




Decreasing the lifetime pension tax-free allowance


Scrapping the default retirement age of 65


Creating a flat rate state pension


Capped drawdown


Despite current poor annuity rates, 66% of financial advisers still believe that a pension is a good method of funding retirement, while 28% say they would recommend ISAs as an alternative method of pension saving.

Getting Britain saving!

The main objection financial advisers say they face from clients about retirement planning is loss of confidence in pensions (60%); 17% said clients were put off due to poor annuity rates and a further 15% said it was due to a lack of disposable income. 

With so many changes to the UK pensions system over the last seven years, half of financial advisers believe that the best way to get the nation saving for retirement, would be for Government to stop tinkering with pensions, for at least the next five years.  A further quarter (26%) of financial advisers think that retirement planning should be included in financial education (in the national curriculum) and 21% think that businesses should offer employees retirement planning advice from a financial adviser, as part of their benefits package.

Karen Barrett, Chief Executive at comments: The UK pension system has dramatically changed over the last few years; with different Governments come different ideas and it’s unlikely that this will cease.  What’s clear is that relying on the state will not provide you with a comfortable retirement and the trend of moving the responsibility of the funding of retirement from state to individual is one that is sure to continue.

“People saving for retirement need to make their own provisions and decisions based on their own financial circumstances.  But you don’t need to be an expert in retirement planning yourself – that is what professional financial advisers are there for.  Of the nearly 500,000 searches going through our ‘find a professional adviser’ search every year, the top area people have sought advice on has consistently been retirement planning, clearly highlighting just how important this area is.”

>>Learn more about state pensions 


Notes to editors:

  1. Research carried out online with’s financial adviser panel between 22 and 25 March 2013 amongst a sample of 160 financial advisers

For more information contact:

Anna Schirmer/ Emily Falla/ Maddy Morgan Williams, Lansons Communications: 020 7294 3682


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