Pension Reform: Financial capability, defaults and how to prevent low-incomes for DC retirees

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Date(s) - 17/03/2015
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm


New research on financial capability among DC pension savers, and proposals for a default decumulation pathway.


  • James Lloyd, Director, Strategic Society Centre
  • Jane Vass, Head of Policy, Age UK
  • Dr Yvonne Braun, Director, Long-term Savings Policy, ABI
  • Chair: Josephine Cumbo, Pensions Correspondent, Financial Times

Twitter: #pensionreform

The April 2015 shift to voluntary annuitisation of Defined Contribution (DC) pension savings dramatically increases the responsibility of savers to take complex decisions about their income from retirement through to the end of their life.

However, countries with voluntary annuitisation systems are frequently characterised by low incomes among DC retirees. For example, Australia’s ‘Murray Inquiry’ concluded that voluntary annuitisation there results in unnecessary and preventable lower incomes among both workers and retirees.

To help UK policymakers navigate these challenges, this event will see the launch of brand new quantitative research which:

  • Maps key aspects of financial capability among DC savers and retirees such as financial engagement, attitudes to saving and use of complex financial products;
  • Explores how these aspects of financial capability vary over the life course, including into late old age.

The research has been authored by the Strategic Society Centre in partnership with NatCen Social Research, and has been made possible by the support of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF).

Alongside the research, this event sees the launch of a discussion paper exploring the implications of low financial capability at retirement for DC pensions policy after April 2015.  The report sets out detailed proposals for a new default decumulation pathway for DC retirees, including how such a default option should be regulated, and how policymakers can ensure a new default option is value-for-money in the absence of consumer-driven competition.

This event will be an opportunity to hear the main research messages and policy recommendations from the project, and to discuss the implications.

This event is free and open to all. To confirm your place, please book here no later than Friday 13 March.

Please note that places are limited, and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

If you have any questions about the event and registration, please contact Ivanka at

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