• PENSIONSANDSAVINGS.COM

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

  • pensionsandsavings.com

    Arcadia pension scheme unlikely to be rescued like BHS – it’s different this time!

    Arcadia pension scheme unlikely to be rescued like BHS – it’s different this time!

    Not sure Arcadia’s owners have legal responsibility for fixing its pension scheme deficit. SUMMARY: The company’s collapse has been hastened by the pandemic, which nobody could have foreseen and there seems little legal remedy for the pension members. This situation is not directly comparable to BHS as Sir Philip and Tina Green had agreed pension deficit repair contributions and paid what was asked by the Regulator and trustees. QE has inflated annuity costs and pension liabilities, so the Arcadia scheme…

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    Chancellor’s Statement comment

    Chancellor’s Statement comment

    Chancellor rightly focuses on jobs and increasing infrastructure spending to boost growth. Great to see Lifetime Skills Guarantee and Restart programmes to help for older unemployed workers – as state pension age rises.   Green projects and social housing should use UK pension assets instead of more borrowing.   The Autumn Statement sets out the depth of the economic emergency we are facing and the Chancellor is right to ensure that we focus on preserving and creating jobs, increasing infrastructure, improving environmental…

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    Chancellor should seize the chance to use pension assets to boost growth and build back Britain

    Chancellor should seize the chance to use pension assets to boost growth and build back Britain

    Pensions offer Chancellor the chance to boost growth directly rather than borrowing billions.    Defined Benefit schemes better suited to such investments than the much smaller pool of Defined Contribution pension funds with liquidity and daily pricing rules.    Over £2trillion in UK pensions could be investing for long-term growth but regulators are driving them to buy gilts and low return bonds.   Heavy regulatory anchors are weighing down DB schemes and could sink them with low or negative returns…

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    MPs should grasp the chance to protect pensions and boost growth

    MPs should grasp the chance to protect pensions and boost growth

    MPs have a chance to protect pensions or put them more at risk – what will they do? Cross-party MPs will try to reinstate Lords measures to help private sector schemes use their assets to boost the economy, rather than buying more gilts. Remaining private sector final salary-type schemes are under threat from rules that will encourage reckless conservatism. Pensions are a better way to boost growth than relying on QE! The Pension Schemes Bill will have its final session…

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    Improving take up of Pension Wise guidance is crucial to protecting people’s pensions

    Improving take up of Pension Wise guidance is crucial to protecting people’s pensions

    MPs want to improve protection for pension savers by guiding them to better retirement.   I hope government will accept their pension schemes bill amendments.  Government will be under pressure from MPs next week to ensure pension savers are better protected Work and Pensions Select Committee and cross party MPs are right to seek to build on success of automatic enrolment to guide people into better pension decisions Proposed amendments to Pension Schemes Bill in the Commons on Monday want auto-enrolment…

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    PensionWise and Dashboards stuck in the slow lane

    PensionWise and Dashboards stuck in the slow lane

    Pension Reforms to help consumers seem consigned to the slow lane. Pensions Dashboards still 3 years away and measures to improve PensionWise take-up are too weak.   Dashboard acceleration needs data reconciliation and standard statements. PensionWise ‘nudge’ won’t be a game-changer, auto-enrolment is needed to protect more people against scams. Disappointingly slow pace of change for pensions: The Government has today unveiled the latest in its ongoing series of pension reforms, designed to improve the way pensions work for customers. I…

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    New scheme funding rules risk undermining Defined Benefit pensions and would cost employers billions of pounds

    New scheme funding rules risk undermining Defined Benefit pensions and would cost employers billions of pounds

    Changes to pension funding rules pose a serious threat to workers’ future pension prospects.  Measures supposedly designed to improve pension funding and security may well have the opposite effect.    As exceptional monetary measures have damaged pension funding, pension schemes need more potential for asset growth, not less.  The Pensions Regulator’s proposed new rules may require schemes to sell growth assets, forcing employers to put scarce corporate resource into the pension fund rather than the business.  Government should encourage pension…

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    Simple Annual Pension Statements – a great idea!

    Simple Annual Pension Statements – a great idea!

    Great to see DWP plans to force pension firms to produce standardised simple annual statements. Customers need simple language to help understand and engage with their pensions. Pensions Dashboard will not work without standardisation – and accurate dat.   New statements should be promoted and explained by national public information campaign.  Standardised, simpler statements need to be mandatory for all providers: The DWP has just released its decision in response to the consultation on simpler, standardised annual pension statements. I am…

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    State Pension Age hits 66 – isn’t it time to consider allowing early access for those who desperately need it?

    State Pension Age hits 66 – isn’t it time to consider allowing early access for those who desperately need it?

    As State Pension Age rises to 66 with economic meltdown boosting unemployment, there is a strong case to allow early access to State Pensions.  Many over-60s are unwell, genuinely unable to work, or are caring for others and have no private pension.  Healthy life expectancy across the country varies by around 20 years, so rising State Pension Age hits these least healthy hardest.  Those with long National Insurance records, poor health and no prospect of employment cannot receive any State Pension…

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    Women disappointed by Court of Appeal State Pension Age ruling may have another route

    Women disappointed by Court of Appeal State Pension Age ruling may have another route

    Women’s State Pension Age ruling is disappointing but not entirely unexpected.  All hope is not lost.  Injustice felt by so many women may be due to maladministration rather than discrimination.  Government may have misled many women and caused them hardship which they had no idea was coming or could not avoid. The Court of Appeal’s clear ruling today that the sharp increases in women’s State Pension Age did not discriminate against women affected. The judges expressed sympathy for their plight,…

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