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National Association of Pension Funds sets out steps Government must take to fix the UK's pension system

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The National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) has called on the incoming Government to 'urgently' fix problems leading to the decline in occupational pension investments.

Speaking at the NAPF Investment Conference yesterday, Investment Council chairman Ray Martin set out the six steps politicians must take to fix the UK's pension system.

Martin urged the Government's decision to withdraw higher-rate tax relief on pension contributions.

He said the 2012 pension reforms covering auto-enrolment and NEST schemes must be simplified to help employers comply, rather than assume they are going to avoid their obligations.

The NAPF also argues the Government must change the objectives of the Pensions Regulator so it has a duty to encourage the creation of an environment in which pension provision can flourish, not just existing to protect the Pension Protection Fund. It should also ensure accounting standards are fit for purpose and give transparency to investors while recognising the long-term nature of liabilities.

Martin added that simplicity should be put at the heart of pensions policy, both in the state and workplace provision.

 He said: "The noughties were a lost decade for pensions. Ten years ago there were two million more people in private-sector defined-benefit schemes than there are today. By anybody's standards that's an astonishing decline.

"Politicians must take urgent action to fix workplace pensions."