The Pensions Policy Institute has established a strong reputation within the pension industry, in Government circles and with the media for its independent, evidence-based analysis and comment in the field of pensions and retirement policy. Its research findings are used extensively by Government decision-makers and advisers, other political parties, pension and savings providers, employers and trade unions, academics, commentators and the wider public.
We are always interested in ideas and suggestions for topics for future research and Briefing Notes. Please contact Sarah Luheshi, PPI Deputy Director at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any ideas and suggestions or wish to discuss any of the work we undertake.
Please read further for more information on the research the PPI is currently and will be conducting over the next year.
Core Research – funded with income from the PPI’s Supporting Membership Scheme
Briefing Notes and Reports
The PPI produces Briefing Notes on topical policy issues – please click here [insert link] to see our more recent publications. In addition, the PPI will sometimes publish reports on such topics, where they merit a more detailed investigation.
The PPI responds to major Government consultations, Select Committees or other Parliamentary Inquiries on policy on pensions and retirement provision. Please click here to see our more recent submissions.
The Pensions Primer: a guide to the UK pensions system
This guide gives a detailed description of the current UK pensions system. The guide is intended for people wanting to learn about the UK pensions policy framework.
The PPI has produced an updated guide for 2016 reflecting policy changes and benefit uprating announcements. This version of the guide reflects the current position of, and legislated future changes to, the UK pension system as at June 2016. Please click here for the current version.
The PPI maintains a compendium of key facts and statistics on pensions and retirement provision in the UK. The aim is to collate into a single place a range of different statistics on demographic change, key state pension and private pension indicators. Key tables will be updated as new data becomes available. Pensions Facts can be viewed here
Pensions Modelling and Development
The PPI has constructed a suite of micro-simulation models to analyse long-term outcomes from the current UK pensions system and possible reforms. The original development of the models was funded by the Nuffield Foundation.
Each year the PPI conducts a model update exercise in which the latest data are incorporated and the long-term assumptions are reviewed. The models have been designed to allow different types of analysis under different pensions systems:
- The Individual Model projects future state and private pension income for hypothetical individuals with different characteristics.
- The Aggregate Model projects long-term government expenditure on pensions and contracted-out rebates, income from the private pensions system and the fiscal cost of tax relief.
- The Distributional Model projects forward the distribution of pensioner incomes consistently with the Aggregate Model.
- The Dynamic Model uses longitudinal data on people aged over 50 in England (taken from the English Longitudinal Survey of Ageing) to make deterministic projections about future retirement outcomes using a dynamic micro-simulation model.
The models have been developed in recent years: our individual modelling capability has been expanded with a stochastic investment model and the aggregate model can now model public sector and the private sector pension schemes separately. Future developments included improved modelling of retirement decisions and transitions into retirement, including the holding of investments beyond State Pension Age. These recent developments were also funded by the Nuffield Foundation.
DWP Social and Economic Research Framework
The PPI is on the DWP’s Social and Economic Research Framework under the policy areas of Pensions and Ageing. The PPI welcomes contact with regards to collaborative work in these research areas.
The PPI undertakes commissioned research for third party clients provided that the research is:
- Within the PPI’s charitable objective;
- The PPI has the capability and the capacity to undertake the research; and
- The research sponsor or sponsors are happy for the final research to be published.
Defined Benefits: Today and Tomorrow - Briefing Note Series
Private sector pension provision in the UK has been changing over the last forty years. Defined Benefit (DB) pension schemes have been in decline since the late 1960s. By contrast, Defined Contribution (DC) pension schemes have experienced growth, both in terms of membership and assets under management, particularly with the introduction of auto-enrolment.
This project brings together the latest data on the state of private sector DB pensions in the UK, and:
- Examines the main factors that have placed a role in shaping the trends;
- Highlights how employers are responding to the continuing challenges of providing DB pensions; and
- Considers the future of DB pensions in the private sector in the UK, delving into a handful of specific issues in depth.
The output is a series of Briefing Notes. The first was published in December 2016 and the remaining three will be published January - March 2017.
Consumer Engagement Report Series
The PPI has launched a project that, over a series of three reports, explores the issue of engagement in detail. The first report unpicks the theory behind engagement, explores the definition and potential impact of engagement, and identifies the lessons behavioural economics has to teach.
The second report explores the practical applications of the theory and segments the population into groups that might or might not benefit from particular types of engagement.
The third report will set out what the experiences of other countries can teach us about how (and how not) to apply policies intended to encourage engagement.
The project is intended to enrich the body of evidence and knowledge around engagement and to assist policy-makers, industry and providers to understand how engagement can be used to help people achieve better outcomes in retirement.
The research project is being funded by a consortium: the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IoFA), LV=, Pinsent Masons, State Street Global Advisors (SSGA), The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS), The Pensions Regulator (tPR), The People’s Pension, and the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS).
The first report will be published early 2017.
Grant Funded Research
As a charitable organisation the PPI is eligible to receive research grants from the UK Research Councils and other charitable foundations.
Wellbeing, Health, Retirement and the Lifecourse
This research project investigates ageing, work and health across the lifecourse. This 3 year interdisciplinary consortium is funded by the cross-research council Lifelong Health and Wellbeing (LLHW) programme under Extending Working Lives. It examines the crucial question for ageing societies: how inequalities across the life course relate to paid work in later life in the UK.
This issue is of growing importance since the UK, in common with many other governments across the world, is rapidly extending the working lives of older adults through the postponement of State Pension Age (SPA) and other measures. These policy reforms affect millions of people, yet their implications for health and wellbeing are unknown. Do these policies harm, benefit or have little effect on the population? To answer this, we need to understand the lifelong drivers affecting the complex relationship between paid work in later life, health and wellbeing.
The project builds on an existing UK-Canadian collaboration examining life course influences on later life work trajectories across several European countries and the US. In addition to those at the Institute of Gerontology at King’s College London, the consortium brings together a unique interdisciplinary team involving universities and partner organisations including the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto; Research Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London; Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience also at King’s College London; Pensions Policy Institute; Age UK; and the Department for Work and Pensions.
Using a wide variety of complex large-scale datasets our interdisciplinary team is tackling projects that cover three major areas:
- a comprehensive assessment of lifecourse determinants and consequences for health and wellbeing of working up to and beyond SPA;
- an evaluation of whether (and how) these relationships have changed for different cohorts and over time; and
- modelling of the financial consequences of working up to and beyond SPA for those with different lifecourse trajectories.
The PPI is releasing a series of Briefing Notes as part of this project. The final event will be held on 20th June 2017.
For more information on the project please visit www.wherl.ac.uk.