Businesses spell out conerns over pensions

Neil Carberry, CBI Director of Employment and Skills, says the incentive to save must not be lost. Picture: Contributed
Neil Carberry, CBI Director of Employment and Skills, says the incentive to save must not be lost. Picture: Contributed
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Stability on tax, policy and funding to boost retirement pots are businesses’ top pension priorities, according to a survey by the CBI and consultancy Mercer.

Almost eight out of ten business leaders are against further changes in pension taxation, while the majority cited “certainty” as the UK government’s top pension priority in this Parliament, as recent major reforms bed in.

The biennial survey, released today, also found that the costs of running defined benefit pension schemes still command board-level attention, with company chiefs keen to avoid increasing costs from future European policy changes.

The percentage of respondents identifying the need to make auto-enrolment administration easier leaped to nearly 70 per cent compared with 41 per cent in the last survey in 2013. Two thirds also cited changing regulation adding to the compliance burden.

More than 160 businesses responded to the poll, including FTSE 100 companies and SMEs, together employing more than 500,000 people and with a combined market capitalisation of £237 billion.

Neil Carberry, the CBI’s director of employment and skills, said: “Businesses want to focus on ensuring employees are making the most of what’s on offer, but there is clear concern about regulatory changes eroding incentives to save, which must be avoided at all costs.”

Mercer chief executive Fiona Dunsire added: “We support the need for stability. The focus now should be on enabling business to address the challenges of an ageing workforce and the urgent need to save more for retirement.”