Govt savings infographic highlights policy ‘disconnect’ – Hargreaves Lansdown

Victoria McKeever writes

Hargreaves Lansdown head of retirement policy Tom McPhail has criticised a “disconnect” between government departments after a new high-profile infographic on savings options for consumers failed to mention pensions at all.

Published today, the government’s Ways to save in 2017 infographic is designed to help consumers “learn about ISAs and other savings options” but does not mention pensions once.

According to McPhail (pictured), the different government departments charged with developing pension policy are focusing on different areas and in isolation of each other. He added: “Excluding pensions from the infographic is symptomatic of this disconnect in policy between government departments.”

While acknowledging the government’s intention of creating a simple and concise infographic on ways to save as “a step in the right direction” in communicating effectively with consumers, McPhail pointed out the infographic highlighted the Junior ISA, the Help to Buy ISA, Premium bonds, cash and stocks and shares ISAs and the new Lifetime ISA, yet makes no mention of pensions.

McPhail suggested this could confuse the government’s message to savers, creating a policy on savings, investments and provision for later life that was neither coherent nor joined-up. “The challenge for the government is knitting together policy to create an overarching view for savers,” he added.

“Both the Treasury and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have to be able to show their respective policies across long-term saving, retirement and the ageing society actually join together in ways that work for ordinary investors.”

In Hargreaves Lansdown’s submission to the Cridland review of the state pension age, the consultation on which ended last week, a key theme was the growing disconnect that exists between DWP policy on ageing and later working lives on the one hand and, on the other, the Treasury”s approach to pension taxation.