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UK Pensions Market 2017

The pre- and post-retirement markets have seen some big changes over the last few years. The state pension has been changed from a two-tier to a flat-rate model. The state pension age is steadily increasing to relieve pressure on the government, as the UK population is aging and individuals are living longer. Auto-enrolment will continue to be a big driver of growth in work- and trust-based pensions, as will buyouts as employers look to de-risk. By February 2018, all businesses will have to provide a pension to eligible employees, and by April 2019 the total minimum contribution will be 8%. This means that more individuals will be paying into a pension, and they will be contributing more. New pension freedoms have given customers more flexibility in how they take money from their pensions. The impact has been that fewer individuals are opting to buy an annuity, instead opting for income drawdown or cash withdrawals. There is a greater need for advice, but there is an advice gap where those with small pots are going without as independent financial advisors concentrate their business on wealthier individuals following the Retail Distribution Review.


– This report explores the pre- and post-retirement markets.

– It discusses recent legislation such as changes to the state pension, auto-enrolment, the Retail Distribution Review, and the new pension freedoms.

– It explains the impacts of legislation with regards to market sizing, distribution, how people are saving their pensions, and how people are taking their pension pots at retirement.

– The size of the pensions market has been forecast to 2021.

– There is also a focus on how technology and robo-advice can encourage pension saving and understanding of pension options.

Reasons to Buy

– Understand the impacts of recent legislation on consumer behavior in the pre- and post-retirement markets.

– Discover how technology and robo-advice can be used to encourage individuals to save pensions and give advice at retirement, ultimately increasing customer engagement.

– See how the UK pensions market is forecast to grow over the next five years.

Companies Mentioned

Wealth Wizards




Pension Bee

Willis Towers Watson


Table of Contents

Table of Contents


1.1. The pensions market has undergone large reforms 3

1.2. Key findings 3

1.3. Critical success factors 3


2.1. Introduction 3

2.2. Pressure is increasing on the state pension 3

2.2.1. The UK’s aging population is putting pressure on the state pension 3

2.2.2. To relieve pressure, the state pension age is increasing 3

2.2.3. The state pension has moved to a flat rate model 3

2.2.4. The ‘triple lock’ has been in force since 2011 3

2.2.5. The triple lock may be scrapped following the upcoming general election 3


3.1. Pension saving is more important than ever 3

3.1.1. Individuals must make their own pension savings outside of the state pension 3

3.1.2. The UK pensions market grew by

10.7% during 2013-16 3

3.1.3. Personal pensions and SIPPs have driven growth in the individual pensions market 3

3.1.4. Workplace pensions have remained flat 3

3.1.5. Trust-based pensions have grown due to auto-enrolment 3

3.2. Auto-enrolment has been introduced to increase pension savings 3

3.2.1. All employers will be required to provide a pension to eligible workers by February 2018 3

3.2.2. Minimum auto-enrolment contributions will reach 8% by 2019 3

3.2.3. Non-eligible individuals or those opting-out may not have sufficient savings at retirement 3

3.2.4. 1.23 million UK businesses will be required to provide a workplace pension by 2018 3

3.2.5. Auto-enrolment will put pressure on UK businesses 3

3.2.6. NEST is the government pension scheme for auto-enrolment 3

3.2.7. Restrictions on NEST pensions have been lifted, which could disrupt the pensions market 3

3.3. The pension market is predicted to be worth £17.5bn APE by 2021 3

3.3.1. The UK pensions market is forecast to grow significantly over the next five years 3


4.1. Pensions freedoms have made accessing a pension more flexible 3

4.1.1. Changes have been made to the way individuals can access their pot at retirement 3

4.2. Transfers from a defined benefit scheme have increased 3

4.2.1. Individuals can transfer from a defined benefit to a defined contribution scheme 3

4.2.2. Transferring to a defined contribution pension takes the responsibility off employers 3

4.2.3. Defined benefit pensions are in steady decline as employers look to derisk 3

4.2.4. The number of TVAS reports being carried out has risen since the reforms 3

4.2.5. The FCA is keeping a close eye on advisors when it comes to recommending transfers 3

4.3. Defined contribution pensions have become more flexible 3

4.3.1. The annuity market has declined since the new pension freedoms 3

4.3.2. Income drawdown is now the preferred retirement income product over annuities 3

4.3.3. Income drawdown has moved from a capped to a flexi-access model 3

4.3.4. A pension pot can be taken as cash in a single or multiple withdrawals 3

4.3.5. Pension pots can be left untouched to grow tax-free 3

4.3.6. There are new restrictions on pension contributions if withdrawals are made 3

4.4. Taxation of pension death benefits is now more generous 3

4.4.1. Taxation of a pension is dependent on the age at which the scheme member dies 3

4.4.2. Anyone can now be a nominated beneficiary of a pension 3

4.5. Pensions will remain a key savings product 3

4.5.1. Pensions force a long-term savings culture 3

4.5.2. The Lifetime ISA is not expected to be a popular alternative to a pension 3

4.5.3. Individuals should not ignore other assets they can benefit from in retirement 3


5.1. Pension freedoms have increased the need for advice on pensions 3

5.1.1. Around half of trust-based premiums are distributed with either no or restricted advice 3

5.1.2. The wealthy seek advice, but there is an advice gap for those with smaller pension pots 3

5.1.3. Those opting for income drawdown are most likely to seek advice 3

5.1.4. The need for advice has increased as pension freedoms have given individuals more options 3

5.1.5. Technology could bridge the advice gap for individuals with smaller pension pots 3

5.1.6. Wealth Wizards has brought robo-advice to the pensions and retirement space 3

5.1.7. HSBC to offer robo-advice for small pension pots 3

5.1.8. Technology could also be a solution to help individuals engage with saving 3

5.1.9. The government is developing a Pensions Dashboard 3

5.1.10. Pension Bee helps track and consolidate pensions to encourage more contributions 3

5.1.11. Willis Towers Watson’s ‘Track my Pension’ allows customers to track their investments 3

5.1.12. Aviva’s ‘Shape My Future’ tool helps users see the cost of their desired retirement lifestyle 3


6.1. Abbreviations and acronyms 3

6.2. Bibliography 3

6.3. Further reading 3

List of Tables

List of Tables

Table 1: Individual premiums APE, by product type (£000s), 2013-16 3

Table 2: Workplace premiums APE, by product type (£000s), 2013-16 3

Table 3: Trust-based premiums APE, by product type (£000s), 2013-16 3

Table 4: Number of UK businesses and employees (000s), by employee band size 2012-16 3

Table 5: Forecast of premiums APE, by pension product (£000s), 2013-21f 3

Table 6: The number of pension annuities sold by size of fund, and total new premiums (£000s), 2018-16 3

Table 7: New total premiums APE, by advice type (£000s), 2013-16 3

List of Figures

List of Figures

Figure 1: Over-65s are forming an increasing proportion of the UK adult population 3

Figure 2: UK life expectancy is increasing 3

Figure 3: The UK pensions market was worth £10.82bn APE in 2016 3

Figure 4: Auto-enrolment is staged by business size, starting with the largest employers 3

Figure 5: Total minimum contributions will rise to 8% of band earnings in April 2019 3

Figure 6: The UK pensions market will be worth £17.5bn APE by 2021 3

Figure 7: Consumers approaching retirement have many options in terms of drawing income 3

Figure 8: Defined benefit pensions are declining, but auto-enrolment has increased the number of employees with workplace pensions 3

Figure 9: Defined benefit pensions are in decline, particularly among younger employees 3

Figure 10: The number of annuities sold has fallen drastically over recent years 3

Figure 11: New business premiums from income drawdown have more than doubled since 2014 3

Figure 12: Full cash withdrawals are currently the most common way to access a pension 3

Figure 13: Most of those who make full cash withdrawals have pension pots worth under £30,000 3

Figure 14: The independent advice channel dominates individual and work-based pensions 3

Figure 15: 64.5% of individuals opting for income drawdown sought financial advice 3

Figure 16: The Pensions Dashboard prototype shows a comprehensive review of an individual’s pensions savings 3

Figure 17: Aviva’s ‘Shape My Future’ tool allows users to compare their desired retirement lifestyle with their savings 3


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