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State Pension Age Independent Review

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN HL5596, tabled on 20 February 2018

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the proposal in the Cridland review, published in March 2017, that couples should be able to combine their pension savings.

Answered on

6 March 2018

John Cridland raised an option related to married couples that appears to work well in Switzerland. However, the report recognised the UK system is different, and there are different challenges, including different delivery challenges. Within an individualised UK tax system, subject to tax rules, households can plan for retirement by making voluntary payments into a personal pension.

Automatic enrolment is part of a wider set of pension reforms designed to ensure that the UK has a pension system that enables individuals, with the help of their employers, to save towards achieving the lifestyle to which they aspire to in retirement. It has been a great success to date with over 9 million employees automatically enrolled into a workplace pension by nearly 1 million employers. It has already reversed the decline in private pension saving seen in the decade prior to its introduction. Additionally, we have seen positive progress for other under-represented groups in pension saving, and a correlated increase in women’s participation since its introduction. The proportion of women employed full-time in the private sector who did not have a workplace pension has decreased from 65 per cent in 2012 to 31 per cent in 2016.

However, we cannot be complacent which is why the Government has set out its vision going forwards to build on the success to date.