At the Money Marketing Retirement Planning Summit in Monte Carlo this week, Bee said one way of getting people to re-engage with pension saving would be to allow them to have access to their fund before retirement.
He said: “If you make pension products more highly valued by allowing people to use tax-free cash, it might interest more people in saving.”
The minimum age which you can take tax-free cash is set to increase next year from 50 to 55. Bee said that only around 15 per cent of TFC is ever used for retirement income, so people should be allowed to access this money at any age.
He said that under the current system, a 55-year-old can take TFC to do up their conservatory but someone who is 45 is not allowed to access these funds to stop their home being repossessed.
At the conference, Shadow Pensions Minister Nigel Waterson said the Conservatives are already looking into the idea.
Waterson said: “We are looking at the US pension system which allows early access to pension funds so that people can draw down funds for lifetime events like university fees and home purchase. There is considerable evidence that such flexibility encourages pension saving, even if individuals do not actually take advantage of the possibility.”