The pensions system is still letting people down, a Midland specialist has warned.
Adrian Pickersgill, of Stratford-on-Avon-based Self Chartered Financial Planners, says too many people have lost confidence in it.
And he disagrees with calls by some pension professionals for a second “A-Day” to enable policymakers to simplify legislation governing taking income in retirement.
The original took place in April, 2006, but, says Mr Pickersgill, while it had some merit, an update would probably further baffle those already struggling to get to grips with the issues.
Insurer Aegon has claimed that a second large-scale change to regulation is needed to aid adequate provision in retirement for pensioners in the face of increasing longevity and widespread economic uncertainty.
But Mr Pickersgill does not accept that A-Day was ever an unqualified success.
He said: “The government never makes things simpler. And trying to fix pensions at the back end will only make it even worse.
“A-Day in fact introduced elements of complication into the system which will trap a lot of people years down the line because they were not aware of the changes.”
It would, he predicted, force many into seeking financial advice as to what to do, but most would be unable to afford that advice.
Mr Pickersgill went on: “The pension scene is a mess. People are saving even less than before. And that is because the government is fiddling with the system rather than fixing it. They are storing up a massive problem for the future.”
He believes the government should act to ensure funds built up can be handed on to other family members in the event of an individual’s death.
Mr Pickersgill said Self saw many clients with such significant pensions savings they did not need it all for themselves. This needed to cascade down the generations.
Today’s youngsters could not afford to save, and took a dim view of insurance companies pocketing annuities on death and the rest being “taxed into oblivion”.
They had seen high commissions being made and pension scheme collapses where people “lost the lot”.
He went on: “Nobody trusts the insurance companies any more because they keep changing the rules to suit themselves. People have lost confidence in the system.”
Those who had money were tending to either leave it in the bank or purchase property such as buy-to-let, which, while values have fallen, they could at least see still existed.
Aegon argues that policymakers should re-think pension tax rules so that individuals are not forced to buy an annuity at the age of 75. The company claims annuity rules are too inflexible.
But Mr Pickersgill believes far more needs to be done if the government and the industry are to regain credibility.