• PENSIONSANDSAVINGS.COM

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

  • pensionsandsavings.com

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    Author: Ros Altmann

    MPs highlight gaping holes in pension options and protections at retirement

    MPs highlight gaping holes in pension options and protections at retirement

    Work and Pensions Committee Report exposes gaping hole in pension freedoms as customers are left unprotected at retirement. Urgent calls for simpler, fairer information and standardised forms to help people understand their pension options and improve retirement income. Pressure on pensions industry to offer innovative products and good value default options for retirement income as MPs call for NEST to be allowed to compete. Before taking money out of pensions, more people need impartial financial guidance or advice.   Gaping…

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    Shocking failings at Financial Ombudsman uncovered

    Shocking failings at Financial Ombudsman uncovered

     Shocking failings uncovered at Financial Ombudsman.  Channel 4 Dispatches undercover investigation finds major flaws in Ombudsman operation.  FOS staff who don’t understand financial products, are pressured to turn down complaints and side with banks or financial providers.  Urgent action needed to ensure financial customers have proper system of fair redress. Tonight at 8pm a Channel4 Dispatches programme will show shocking evidence of failings at the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). Members of the public are told to complain to the Ombudsman…

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    MPs have chance to beef up pension cold-calling ban to make it more effective and ensure more get impartial guidance

    MPs have chance to beef up pension cold-calling ban to make it more effective and ensure more get impartial guidance

     MPs must ensure Government’s promised cold-calling ban actually works.  Providers should also be required to automatically refer customers to PensionWise guidance  Financial Guidance and Claims Bill comes to Commons tomorrow for crucial votes – a chance to achieve proper protections, not just worthy headlines  I hope Government will back Frank Field’s amendments for cold-calling and automatic pensions guidance rather than its own weaker proposals An opportunity to improve consumer protection properly: The House of Commons will vote tomorrow, Monday 12…

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    State Pension age rising to 70 even though UK State Pension is lowest in the world

    State Pension age rising to 70 even though UK State Pension is lowest in the world

    UK State Pension officially the worst in the world – but still needs to be cut further. Middle income groups receive worse pensions than any other country in the OECD. Government actuaries say under-30s won’t get state pension till their 70s as new State Pension system is unaffordable. The Government Actuary says the UK State Pension is not sustainable, even though it is the lowest in the developed world, according to latest OECD figures. UK bottom of the global pensions…

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    Government trying to weaken consumer protection for pensions

    Government trying to weaken consumer protection for pensions

    Changes to Financial Guidance Bill would leave pension customers more at risk of scams and fraud, buying overpriced products or paying unnecessary tax. Automatic guidance can help pension customers make the most of their pension savings. Disappointing to see Government bowing to industry pressure to weaken consumer protection. More pension customers will be at risk of scams and losses: I am really disappointed that the Government seems to have bowed to industry pressure and proposes to weaken consumer protection for…

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    Did Carillion’s banks demand pension scheme sacrifices as price of more loans?

    Did Carillion’s banks demand pension scheme sacrifices as price of more loans?

    Carillion suggests some firms treat pension debt as ‘optional’. Did lenders demand pension fund should be sacrificed as condition of bank loan? Trustees and Pensions Regulator must be consulted before scheme security is compromised. Totally unacceptable to insist pension security plays second fiddle – these liabilities have people’s lives attached. Serious questions about banks demands to reduce pension funding as condition of new loans: Evidence is emerging today which suggests that Carillion’s banks insisted further lending to the company was…

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    PPF can cope with Carillion but …

    PPF can cope with Carillion but …

    Pension Protection Fund can cope with Carillion. Concern that a hard Brexit might lead to PPF facing difficulties. The Carillion pensioners will see much of their pension replaced by the Pension Protection Fund (but future increases will be lower).  However, those not yet at pension age or who took early retirement may lose at least 10-20% of their promised pension. The PPF has budgeted for some big schemes to fail and can manage the onboarding of all Carillion’s pension schemes….

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    As care crisis worsens, Jeremy Hunt has a chance to improve both NHS and Social Care

    As care crisis worsens, Jeremy Hunt has a chance to improve both NHS and Social Care

    Golden opportunity to address the social care crisis must not be missed. Integration of healthcare and social care can improve the quality of both. Meaningful reform must end artificial and unfair division between dementia and cancer. As the population ages, the country’s care system simply isn’t fit for purpose: Social care available from local authorities is not providing good care for today’s elderly people (a cohort which is currently very small yet is causing such mayhem), and that lack of…

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    Ode to Brexit

    Ode to Brexit

    Britain has voted to leave the EU The country decided to try something new We want to recapture control of our laws A clearly attractive and popular cause British voters were promised the future was bright With immigrant numbers reduced overnight 350 mill extra to keep us all healthier And new global trade deals to make us all wealthier Our Leaders insist we deserve special favours – We’re the mighty UK and EU’s nearest neighbours We seek a new partnership…

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    Well done to the PPF for standing up to Toys’R’Us and getting a good compromise

    Well done to the PPF for standing up to Toys’R’Us and getting a good compromise

    Well done to the PPF – more money for the pension scheme and many jobs reprieved PPF Toys’R’Us tactics have sent strong signal to other scheme sponsors to take pension promises more seriously It is good to see the Pension Protection Fund challenging corporate sponsors at Toys’R’Us and managing to get more money into the pension scheme. Its judgment that the company could indeed afford to pay, despite its protestations that this was impossible, has proven correct. This has sent…

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