Personal and Stakeholder Pensions - UK - March 2011
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With a third consecutive year of decline in new business levels, the personal and individual stakeholder pension markets continued to face difficulties in 2010. Although the financial crisis has encouraged people to take saving more seriously, the pension industry has seen little benefit from this trend. For the most part continued economic uncertainty has undermined people’s ability, or willingness, to focus on longer-term savings goals, instead concentrating on shorter-term savings, such as building an emergency fund.
These segments of the individual pension market are being faced with longer term challenges as well. While the decline in the quality of private sector, and now public sector, workplace pension schemes should in theory boost demand for private pension arrangement, widespread consumer apathy, unawareness and confusion continue to prevent the market from reaching its full potential. The government, also aware of this problem, will launch a national low cost workplace pension scheme called the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) from April 2012. The introduction of this scheme could potentially make life even more difficult for personal and in particular individual stakeholder providers.
There are still some positives. Consumer research data has indicated a promising level of engagement in pension savings among people aged between 18 and 34. This could increase exponentially with the launch of NEST. Although the scheme will be a serious competitor, it will also be a powerful force in raising awareness about the need to save for retirement. In the long-term this could translate into more demand for individual pension products as people gain a greater understanding of the level of savings required to ensure a comfortable retirement.
This report focuses specifically on the personal and individual stakeholder pension segments of the pension industry. In addition to presenting detailed information on new and existing business levels, trends in product distribution, and market advertising spend, the report presents an overview of the key internal, economic and regulatory factors impacting the market. The final sections of the report provide the reader with the key findings of Mintel’s exclusively commissioned in depth consumer research on pensions.
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