Headlines: October 12th, 1998

A new report reveals clear views from the public about what they want and need from the public sector over pensions.It shows that most people want the Government to have a strong role in regulating pensions, including ensuring that pension firms make policies clear and straightforward. It also revealed a strong and negative perception that the State is withdrawing from pension provision.

The other main findings from the study are that the complexities of the pension system are poorly understood by the public, pension planning is limited and belated, and that people need more, better and accessible information on pensions.

There was enthusiasm for the concept of a stakeholder pension, and support for an element of compulsion – people fear that they may otherwise neglect to invest the right amounts at the right time.

Pensions and Retirement Planning is published in the Department of Social Security Research Series (Report No 83) and is available from Corporate Document Services. Orderline: 0113 399 4040.

A summary of the report is available from Keith Watson, Social Research Branch, email Keith@asdlondon.dss-asd.gov.uk