An independent pensions report has called for the creation of a 'National Wealth Service' alongside new products, such as 20-year retirement bonds, to cater for sweeping pension reforms announced in the Budget.'There is a massive opportunity to be grasped by financial advisers and the financial advice industry for those already close to pension age,' said report author Dr Ros Altmann (pictured), an economist and pensions fund manager.
'A National Retirement Guidance Network - ultimately leading on to a National Wealth Service - could form the foundation of a revolution in guidance and advice to address the key needs for later life income and help people plan their financial future.
'This could be integrated into the national programme of auto-enrolment, ensuring that all workers receive information about financial planning, which needs to be an ongoing process, rather than just than a one-off exercise.'
Altmann called for greater innovation in retirement saving, such as Lifetime Pension Accounts or 20-year retirement bonds with advanced life protection.
The report, sponsored by MetLife, also found that the Budget, which announced that annuities would no longer be compulsory, sparked an increase in pension spending, with 24% of people saying they plan to increase pension saving.
'Annuities were not suitable for everyone, and certainly not buying a standard annuity with their entire pension savings, which offered no inflation protection, no provision for a partner and could notbe adjusted if health or market conditions changed in future.Nevertheless, annuities will still have a place in some people’s pension planning, but most will probably decide not to put all their money into this one product at one point in time,' Altmann added.