Call to shake-up pension provision

The government and the insurance industry have a "golden opportunity" to transform Britain's savings culture, a trade body said.

Some four out of 10 people are currently not putting enough money into their pension pots, the Association of British Insurers (AIB) said, suggesting millions of people will not have the funds they need to enjoy a comfortable retirement.

However the AIB said ministers and companies should take advantage of the financial crisis, which has alerted increasing numbers of consumers to the dangers of debt and the importance of planning for the future, to embed good saving habits throughout society.

The groups is calling for measures including speedy adoption of auto-enrolment into company pensions in 2012, simplified advice on pensions for consumers, and fewer obstacles for employers who enrol staff into their schemes.

Maggie Craig, the ABI's director of life and savings, said: "We all know that many people in the UK are not saving enough towards their retirement. Now is the time for action to tackle under-saving rather than further analysis of the problem.

"It is vital that the Government communicates honestly with people, explaining exactly why people need to save more and giving individuals a target to aim for."

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