• PENSIONSANDSAVINGS.COM

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

  • pensionsandsavings.com

    Public Accounts Committee is right to call for urgent action to ensure social care does not fail the most vulnerable

    Public Accounts Committee is right to call for urgent action to ensure social care does not fail the most vulnerable

    PAC calls for urgent short-term action on social care to ensure equality with NHS.  Government response was ‘slow, inconsistent and at times negligent’, as NHS was not co-ordinated with social care.  Current system failed those who needed it most and lessons must be learned before any second wave hits. Committee demands improved social care funding, clear responsibilities and accountability. Social Care in the UK is not fit for 21st Century and urgent radical reform must be introduced. The Commons Public…

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    Helping low earners’ pensions – Glad to see Government’s Call for Evidence

    Helping low earners’ pensions – Glad to see Government’s Call for Evidence

    Government calls for evidence on addressing scandal of lowest earners paying 25% extra for their pensions.  Over one million low-paid women are unknowingly auto-enrolled into employer schemes which leave them with lower take-home pay. Who is looking after these lowest earners who surely need every penny of their pay and their pensions and cannot protect themselves against the income loss.  Short-term fixes could include requiring employers to use suitable schemes for low earners or for schemes and employers to ensure…

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    Stronger, safe pensions from Lords Pension Schemes Bill amendments

    Stronger, safe pensions from Lords Pension Schemes Bill amendments

    House of Lords passes important Pension Schemes Bill changes to better protect people’s pensions. Better protection for all types of pension and improved consumer safeguards in Pension Dashboard.   Last night, important changes were introduced to the Pension Schemes Bill which has been going through the House of Lords, before passing to the Commons in coming weeks. Government should be congratulated for its work on this important Bill: The proposals cover many vital aspects of the future pensions landscape. Its…

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    What will current crisis do to the State Pension triple lock?

    What will current crisis do to the State Pension triple lock?

    Will current crisis spell the long-overdue review of totemic state pension triple lock? Yes, Government must protect pensioners, but triple lock is not best way. Triple lock is more about politics than protection and does not properly cover over-70s. Reform of pensioner support as economy recovers likely to be on Treasury agenda as earnings and inflation numbers will be distorted by emergency measures. Will current crisis reduce political attachment to totemic state pension triple lock?: The Government absolutely must protect pensioners,…

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    Is time up for the triple lock?

    Is time up for the triple lock?

    It’s really important to protect pensioners – but is triple lock the best means of doing so?    Triple lock does not protect the poorest and oldest pensioners.  Moving to a double lock to increase State Pensions, including Pension Credit,  by best of earnings or price inflation would offer better protection.  The Triple Lock on State Pensions was introduced in 2011 to protect pensioner incomes. Over many years, the Basic State Pension had fallen significantly behind general increases in income…

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    Delighted to see Government rejects age discrimination against over-70s

    Delighted to see Government rejects age discrimination against over-70s

    Government rejects discrimination in its lockdown policy – quite right too! Isolated, healthy over-70s delighted to be spared harsher treatment just because of their age.  ONS death rates and medical evidence do not suggest all over-70s at greater risk from Covid-19. Older people delighted to see Government rejecting discrimination: The Government’s measures to ease lockdown restrictions do not, as many had feared, include ageist bias. Having worked so hard to overcome age discrimination throughout society and the workplace, Ministers have…

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    Collective punishment of older people is unacceptable

    Collective punishment of older people is unacceptable

    Old people must not be confined just because some are vulnerable.   Surely collective punishment of all those over a specific age is unacceptable in our democracy. It is not acceptable just to blame the virus for ‘targeting’ some age groups. I urge Government to consider the social and political consequences of such authoritarian policies. Clinical advice must not be used to promote age discrimination: I have real fears that Ministers are considering blanket bans to prevent older people leaving…

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    Pension freedoms carry risks but are better than the old system

    Pension freedoms carry risks but are better than the old system

    FCA concerns about ‘significant risks of harm’ from pension freedoms are valid, but do not mean freedoms are wrong. Consumers are facing new risks, but it is right to allow people to manage their pensions over time, rather than requiring most to just buy a standard annuity.  Original policy intention of ensuring everyone receives impartial guidance or advice before taking money from their pension was absolutely right, but this is not happening in practice.  Without impartial guidance or advice, consumers…

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    Government’s emergency pension measures are welcome

    Government’s emergency pension measures are welcome

    Well done to Government and the Pensions Regulator for emergency pension measures. Protecting the principle of auto-enrolment is hugely important. But allowing employers leeway to delay deficit contributions during current crisis makes sense. Allowing schemes’ trustees to suspend transfers for at least three months can protect members against scams and allow more time to assess more reliable valuations. The Government and the Pensions Regulator deserve plaudits, in my view, for announcing bold emergency measures to address some of the potential…

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    Wonderful news: Barclays to waive interest charges on arranged overdrafts

    Wonderful news: Barclays to waive interest charges on arranged overdrafts

    WELL DONE TO BARCLAYS – FIRST BANK TO AGREE TO WAIVE OVERDRAFT CHARGES   It will not charge customers using arranged overdrafts from Friday till end April 2020   Congratulations to Barclays Bank for being the first to announce it will suspend interest charges for its customers who need to dip into their arranged overdraft facilities.  Until now, even those people using arranged overdrafts were facing penal interest charges of around 40% a year.  Now, the bank says its customers…

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