• PENSIONSANDSAVINGS.COM

    From Ros Altmann:economist and pensions,
    investment and retirement policy expert

  • pensionsandsavings.com

    Time for change: Make pensions fit for 21st Century retirement

    Time for change: Make pensions fit for 21st Century retirement

    14 October 2013 TIME FOR CHANGE:  Rethinking pensions and retirement Pension options not fit for the future as ‘low risk’ investments have become more risky and retirement becomes a process not an event Auto-enrolment pension funds not fit for the future:  Retirement is changing, pensions need to change too. As auto-enrolment ensures millions of people are about to start saving in pension schemes at work, it is important to make future pensions fit future lifestyles.  There is a real danger…

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    Equitable Life saga drags on as Compensation Scheme extended

    Equitable Life saga drags on as Compensation Scheme extended

    9 October 2013 Good that there is more time to trace victims, shame it’s taken so long so far! Government should be commended for continuing its commitment to help those affected The Government deserves some praise for taking the decision to extend the Equitable Life Compensation Scheme deadline and allow more time to trace the victims.  Around one million people may be eligible for compensation, but around 400,000 of them have not yet been traced.  It is not clear why…

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    15-minute care visits are an affront to decency

    15-minute care visits are an affront to decency

    7 October 2013 Care staff earn less than £1.50 for each 15-minute care visit  Each visit earns less than a cup of coffee as private care firms and councils cut costs  Such social care cutbacks are an affront to decent standards of care  Social Care crisis is deepening  15-minute care visits are putting patients and careworkers in an impossible position:  The Leonard Cheshire charity report (see link here http://www.lcdisability.org/?lid=8843 ) highlights the degrading impact of 15-minute social care visits on…

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    Why everyone should consider income drawdown before buying an annuity

    Why everyone should consider income drawdown before buying an annuity

    What to do with your pension pot as you approach retirement is an important issue to explore. Most people don’t realise they don’t have to buy an annuity: All too often, people just assume they have to annuitise, and never engage with the important alternative options available to them. Annuities are irreversible:  Once you have bought an annuity, you can’t change it. You will never have a second chance. Annuities won’t protect you against serious retirement risks: It’s like putting…

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    Auto-enrolment first anniversary – many happy returns?

    Auto-enrolment first anniversary – many happy returns?

    1 October 2013 Employers must be warned of complexity and need to prepare at least a year ahead  Can’t leave it till the last minute as capacity crunch looms  Significant challenges still remain despite promising start  Aim to improve pensions for millions:  One year ago today, the first and largest employers became legally obliged to automatically enrol their employees into a pension scheme and pay contributions for them too.  This is a social policy which aims to improve pensions for…

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    OFT Report on industry charges – who is protecting the customer?

    OFT Report on industry charges – who is protecting the customer?

    23 September 2013 NEST charging structure may be responsible for failure to recommend a charge cap – NEST would not comply with a 1% cap! The long-awaited OFT report into pension scheme charges has finally been released – but its recommendations are disappointingly weak in terms of consumer protection. The OFT has done an excellent job in highlighting the excessive charges on older (particularly pre-2001) pension schemes but it has shied away from recommendations that would quickly bring them down….

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    Wouldn’t a 1% charge cap leave NEST out on a limb?

    Wouldn’t a 1% charge cap leave NEST out on a limb?

    OFT report into pension charges expected to propose a 1% cap How does that square with NEST’s 1.8% initial charge? NEST charging structure needs urgent overhaul as it can be poor value The long-awaited report from the Office of Fair Trading, assessing the charges levied on UK pension plans, is about to be released and is expected to recommend a cap on the charges for UK pensions probably of 1%. This recommendation would raise a number of issues.  It is…

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    Potential good news for pensioners as gilt yields rise

    Potential good news for pensioners as gilt yields rise

    17 September 2013 Rising gilt yields and revised regulations could increase pensioner incomes from income drawdown by 50% But inflexibility prevents pensioners from accessing more of their money By the time they are allowed to, the opportunity may be lost Need to make drawdown more flexible and allow for ill-health  Recent rises in gilt yields and Treasury rule changes for income drawdown mean people could now take much more money out of their pension funds than last year.  This should…

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    Who cares – zero hours contracts for careworkers while care crisis worsens

    Who cares – zero hours contracts for careworkers while care crisis worsens

    Zero hours contracts for private sector careworkers are not conducive to delivering quality care Trying to fund care on the cheap compromises quality Treating care staff decently will require funding reform as care crisis grows As the party conferences shine a spotlight on the problem of zero hours contracts, this seems an opportune time to highlight the working conditions of Britain’s private sector careworkers. Zero hours contracts are standard in this industry.  The staff are also usually expected to fund…

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    DANGER: Even estate agents think house prices rising too fast

    DANGER: Even estate agents think house prices rising too fast

    Calls to cap house price rises are clear sign of housing bubble RICS is shouting from the rooftops – are the authorities listening? No more ‘Help to Buy’ we need ‘Help to Build’ Clear signs of housing bubble: The RICS has issued an unprecedented call for a cap on house price rises.  This suggestion, from the industry most closely associated with the housing market, clearly indicates that house prices are in bubble territory.  It has been clear for months that…

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