• PENSIONSANDSAVINGS.COM

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

  • pensionsandsavings.com

    Private pensions have become politicians’ piggy banks

    Private pensions have become politicians’ piggy banks

    Here is my article in today’s CityAM http://www.cityam.com/article/1378855577/private-pensions-have-become-piggy-bank-spendthrift-states?utm_source=website&utm_medium=TD_opinion_right_col&utm_campaign=TD_opinion_right_col FIVE years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, and the fallout from the financial crisis is far from over. Across Europe, private pensions have become a targets for politicians seeking to reduce the pressure to rein in spending and manage excessive debt after the crisis. While governments are encouraging or forcing citizens to participate in private pension schemes – with the aim of improving retirement incomes – they have not been able…

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    Pole-axed Pensions – politicians raiding pensions again

    Pole-axed Pensions – politicians raiding pensions again

    10 September 2014 Financial crisis fallout once again hits pensions Polish Government confiscates private pension assets to improve public finances  Politicians have found many ways to raid pension assets when times get tough I just thought I should put together a note following the sudden confiscation by the Polish government of all the bond holdings in Poland’s private sector pension funds last week.  It seems to  me that private pension savings are not safe in Europe and we need to…

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    Care crisis demands urgent action – savings incentives would help families prepare

    Care crisis demands urgent action – savings incentives would help families prepare

    Yet another report highlighting the scale of the social care crisis.  The research by NFU Mutual shows that older generations are increasingly facing crippling care costs in later life that they have not prepared for.  Families are finding that their lifetime savings are at risk if they become ill in the wrong way.  Those who have cancer or other illnesses that qualify for NHS treatment will have all their care covered by taxpayers.  Those unlucky enough to develop dementia or…

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    Blinkered Bank of England ignoring dangers of low rates as economy picks up

    Blinkered Bank of England ignoring dangers of low rates as economy picks up

    4  September 2013 Bank of England should take off its blinkers and look at the economic evidence Low rates are distorting economy – causing borrowers and savers to take too much risk MPC should consider a small rise in rates now As the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee meets, I urge its members to look carefully at the evidence showing a stronger UK economy and start the process of increasing interest rates to more sustainable levels.  Ultra low interest…

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    To buy or not to buy – annuities are a gamble

    To buy or not to buy – annuities are a gamble

    Yes, not buying an annuity is a gamble, as is buying one! The attempts to defend annuity purchase are rather too simplistic.  Of course it is the case that not buying an annuity is a gamble, but what people do not yet realise is that buying one is also a gamble.  Customers need to understand that any decision around annuities is risky.  Currently, the industry and providers and even trustees seem to believe that buying an annuity is the ‘safe’,…

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    The crazy world of annuities – hiring a chauffeur-driven limousine cheaper than finding your way by bus

    The crazy world of annuities – hiring a chauffeur-driven limousine cheaper than finding your way by bus

      Do you understand how annuities work? Millions will be auto-enrolled into a system that is not fit for purpose The Government is encouraging millions of workers to save in a pension scheme to improve their retirement income.  If you are a worker earning above the tax threshold you will be automatically enrolled into company pensions and (assuming you do not opt out) you will be paying contributions for many years to build up a retirement fund.  Most new auto-enrolment…

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    10 things an annuity will guarantee you

    10 things an annuity will guarantee you

    20 August 2013 1. A single life level  annuity guarantees that your pension fund will not ‘run out of money’ and the income you receive from your pension fund will be fixed now for the rest of your life.  You know what you will get each year. 2. It guarantees that you will never get a higher income than this even if annuity rates rise in future. 3. It guarantees that your income has no protection against inflation, so your…

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    If Savers are all doomed, so are the rest of us in the end

    If Savers are all doomed, so are the rest of us in the end

    August 18, 2013 at 7:27 pm I have just read a blog which once again suggests that those who save cannot expect returns because times are tough and everyone should expect to do badly at the moment.  The blog discusses its views on ‘Why @SaveourSavers are doomed’.  You can read it here: http://leftoutside.wordpress.com/2013/08/18/why-saveoursavers-are-doomed/ This is my response: Demands for higher interest rates are not necessarily demands for transfers from people in the future to people in the present. Indeed demands…

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    Savers – sacred cows or sacrificial lambs?

    Savers – sacred cows or sacrificial lambs?

    I have been engaged in a lengthy twitter engagement with @IzaKaminska and we have agreed to disagree.  Her first post on our debate was entitled ‘Savers are not sacred cows’ and can be found here http://dizzynomics.wordpress.com/2013/08/12/savers-are-not-sacred-cows-redux/. I feel her arguments and those of others with similar views, are important to air.  I fundamentally disagree with their analysis, but I may of course be wrong.  They contend that we are actually in a deflation and there is not really any inflation…

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    Annuity pricing bonanza for providers

    Annuity pricing bonanza for providers

    13 August 2013 There is no control on annuity pricing, profits or risk margins People buying without an adviser at risk of poorest rates but don’t realise Insurers may be pocketing £100m each year from selling poorest value products As we move towards a world of defined contribution pensions, more and more people will be reaching retirement and having to find the best way to release money from their pension savings.  If we want auto-enrolment to work well, we need…

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