Pension guru Stewart Ritchie has sent the new Work and Pensions Secretary Alan Johnson his three wishes for pension reform.
Scottish Equitable director of pensions development Ritchie has also offered the new minister the goodwill of the pension industry as he starts in his new role.
The first wish is unity of purpose between the Department for Work and Pensions, the Treasury and the FSA. He says the current lack of joined-up thinking creates unnecessary barriers to pensions saving.
The second wish is for greater focus on the workplace. Ritchie describes this as a key battleground for employee pensions and the key to increasing take-up. He believes the Department for Work and Pensions has already started to recognise this adding that “Alan Johnson should pick up that ball and run hard with it”.
His third and most critical wish is for the Government to admit that the huge expansion of means-testing in old age is a serious disincentive to saving for today's workers. He says that the current state pension is too complex and needs reform. The Government has consistently turned a blind eye to these issues which has led to uncertainty among the public and advisers, resulting in an unwillingness to commit to pension provision, he adds.
Ritchie says: “Alan Johnson will start with the goodwill of the entire pension industry. We are ready, willing and able to help and that is the gift horse he should not look in the mouth.”