David Brooks, Technical Director at Broadstone Corporate Benefits, the independent pensions and investment expert, says:
"The recent comments from the Fabian Society have been the first loud dissenting voice to the pension flexibilities announced by the Government. Putting aside the politicking and the motivation for the changes – the system of a fully flexible pensions world can be made to work. The challenge is constructing an environment where individuals have the ability to make the sensible decisions, at a sensible time, for sensible reasons. With investments and financial issues these decisions will not always be right and some people will have poor outcomes. It is possible that many pensioners, by nature risk averse, may be too cautious in their spending and investment decisions depriving themselves of a lifestyle they can afford. However, a system designed to avoid the few bad decisions rather than create a space for a majority of good decisions seems a pessimistic way to construct a pensions system.
"Pensions are complicated, and the new flexibilities do little to change this, that is why the call should be for a massive increase in financial literacy and training from the schools up into the workplace. The Government has created this system and so should be investing in an accessible education campaign to give individuals the tools they need to make the right decisions for their families."