“There are some encouraging figures on pensions today with a record number of people contributing and the amount per year on the rise. In fact the number of under 35s contributing has more than doubled since 12/13 to 3.5 million.
“Auto-enrolment is due a lot of credit for this success. We know that saving early is a crucial ingredient in building up a healthy retirement pot. As defined benefit pensions and other benefits enjoyed by previous generations are phased out, it will be increasingly vital for today’s working age people to set money aside throughout their careers.
“However, these figures don’t tell the full story as there remain pension inequalities throughout the nation. The split between men and women contributing to pensions remains 40% woman and 60% men across all age groups. We need to understand why and if policy is playing a role in that. Gender pension inequality has no place in the modern day.
“A pension pots start to grow and pensions tax policy changes come into play, people are increasingly falling into the scope of paying tax. In 16/17, the first year people were impacted by the tapered annual allowance, tax take was up over fourfold to £517m from the previous year. Planning is crucial here as there can be ways to navigate the tax landscape that can help people save thousands.
“Still pensions tax relief is still costing the government an eye watering amount at £38.4bn in 17/18 up from £37.3bn in the previous year.
“Government then face a tough balancing act of granting tax relief, but also balancing the books to ensure it doesn’t contribute to bankrupting the country.”