UK- The National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) has called on the Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown to use next week's budget speech as an opportunity to restore confidence in saving for retirement.

Says Peter Thompson, NAPF Chairman: "despite the need to save more for a longer retirement, there is plenty of evidence that companies and individuals are actually reducing the amount they put into pension saving. On Wednesday the Chancellor has a unique opportunity to restore confidence in the pension system."

The NAPF is asking the government to recognise that long-term saving for pensions should receive more favourable tax treatment than short-term saving for discretionary expenditure

It has also asked the government to commit to a radical simplification of the regulatory burden on employers operating pension schemes. The introduction of flexible retirement arrangements and the abolition of stamp duty are other NAPF recommendations.

"It is clear that cost and complexity are two of the main issues facing those employers who voluntarily operate occupational pension schemes for their workforces," said Thompson.

"Without a clear and firm commitment to addressing these issues, we believe the present decline in the overall level of pension saving will continue.

“We call on the Chancellor to recognise publicly the difficulties which employers are facing and to address these in his speech on Wednesday."