Employers are currently prevented from helping people plan their retirement because of concerns they could be sued, Simon Foster, head of corporate life and pensions, UK and international savings at Zurich, said.

Mr Foster said employers do not want to play a huge role in helping savers plan for their old age adequately because they fear calls for compensation “even many years after they have offered guidance”.

He said the government should give employers “safe harbours” on their liability.

Mr Foster said: “This will encourage them to play their part in helping savers reach better decisions.”

Earlier today consultant Ros Altmann claimed that fundamental changes in pension advice and saving products were needed as she called for the launch of a ‘national retirement guidance network’ from April 2015.

Ms Altmann said a ‘national retirement guidance network’ should be brought in from April 2015 focusing on those about to retire and then this could expand into a wider ‘national wealth service’.

This could be integrated into workplace pension auto-enrolment providing regular “financial wealth-checks” for all savers, she said.

Also today, a think-tank listed simplified advice for mass market pension savers as one of several critical measures needed to cope with more than 1m people getting full access to pension savings from April 2015.

The UK International Longevity Centre warned that unless changes are made, pensioners could be worse off throughout retirement due to reforms abolishing the requirement to take an annuity and enabling pensioners to take all their pension as cash.

Source: Zurich

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