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

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    Author: Ros Altmann

    Private pension reforms urgently needed

    Private pension reforms urgently needed

    Private pension reforms that could improve pension outcomes especially for women, low earners, NHS senior staff and younger savers.    As we wait to see who forms the next Government, here are some recommendations for pension reforms they need to urgently consider: Net Pay tax relief reform Reform Tapered Annual Allowance Abolish Lifetime Allowance: Default Financial Guidance Abolish Lifetime ISA   Net Pay tax relief reform The lowest earners needs the most help to build up good pensions. Most women…

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    Progressive reform agenda to improve quality of life for older citizens, especially women

    Progressive reform agenda to improve quality of life for older citizens, especially women

    Here are some thoughts about urgent policy proposals to improve the fairness of the National Insurance system for women and for the aging population. Top 5 policy recommendations:    Extend triple lock to Pension Credit for oldest, poorest pensioners. Allow early access to State Pension for ill-health, long service or carers. Recognise WASPI concerns and address hardship caused by increased state pension age. Remove National Insurance loopholes that cause women to lose State Pension credits. Offer free personal social care…

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    Implications of the Woodford debacle

    Implications of the Woodford debacle

    Woodford Funds collapse highlights inadequate protections for ordinary investors.  Regulatory actions too little too late – funds with rising risks, falling liquidity and daily pricing need more timely intervention.   Clear warning signs in 2017 – Guernsey ‘listing’ for illiquid holdings was obvious red flag.    Does FCA have adequate powers to suspend management charges or penalise managers?    Loss of confidence in retail fund management industry may increase use of lower cost passive funds.    Inadequate protections for ordinary investors:…

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    High Court ruling on women’s state pension age

    High Court ruling on women’s state pension age

    1950s women disappointed as High Court says Government did not discriminate against them.   Equalising pension AGE does not mean pension equality – women still get much lower pensions than men.  Many women have been pushed into poverty and did not know about the changes. Government should help those in hardship – perhaps allowing early access to State Pension or Pension Credit for those hardest hit.  In a landmark ruling today, the High Court has dismissed the claim brought on…

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    The next stage for pension integration as KeyPay acquires pensionsync

    The next stage for pension integration as KeyPay acquires pensionsync

    The next stage for pension integration as KeyPay acquires pensionsync. Australian-based firm will take forward further development to help bring pensions administration into the modern era.   UK is in the dark ages on pensions technology relative to Australia and many other countries. Another vital step on the path to Making Pensions Digital. I am pleased to let you know that KeyPay, a cloud-payroll and workplace management provider, has just acquired pensionsync. Having joined pensionsync last year as Chair, to…

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    Increasing State Pension Age to 75 would be an outrage

    Increasing State Pension Age to 75 would be an outrage

    Increasing State Pension Age to 70 and then 75 would be wrong. Strict chronological age cut-off ignores the 19-year gap in healthy life expectancy across UK.  Saving public money is all well and good, but not by penalising the poorest and most vulnerable. Working longer can be good for health and wealth but it should be a choice, not forced labour. More flexibility is needed for earlier pensions for people in poor health and unpaid carers. UK already has the…

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    NHS pensions and wider reform

    NHS pensions and wider reform

    NHS pension crisis shows tapered Annual Allowance rules are classic example of bad policy-making. Government consultation on NHS pensions should include broader reforms – not just tinkering with one scheme. The Annual Allowance taper disincentivises senior staff from working and building up pensions. Policy flaws to be remedied are complexity, cliff-edge and retrospection. Tapered Annual Allowance pension rules are a classic example of bad policy design: The rules are far too complicated, impossible to predict properly and have damaging side-effects…

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    NHS pension crisis – new proposals welcome as a start, more to do

    NHS pension crisis – new proposals welcome as a start, more to do

    Glad to see Government proposing urgent action to address NHS Pension Crisis. This is not about high earners but about fairness and transparency – these staff have been let down by their employer – that’s you and me! More flexibility is a start but NHS must also acknowledge duty of care to staff who feel betrayed. Government should also consider offering access to independent financial advice for NHS staff. Ideally, the Annual Allowance taper should be scrapped – it’s far…

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    There is no democratic mandate for a No Deal Brexit

    There is no democratic mandate for a No Deal Brexit

    Forcing through a No Deal Brexit would be a betrayal of our democracy. The Referendum result does not give the Government a mandate to leave without a Deal and did not specify any particular Brexit date. The Leave campaign promised more free trade deals and more money to spend on our priorities. It certainly did not state that we would leave without any Deal at all, with all the risks for our society, economy and prosperity. For the past three…

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    Regulators must do more to protect pension customers against scams and high fees

    Regulators must do more to protect pension customers against scams and high fees

    MPs demand urgent action to protect pension savers from scams and excessive charges. Regulator should devote more resources and produce early warning systems to help avoid scams. Must also ensure more customers receive their free guidance guarantee. Improving transparency and clearly disclosing charges should be mandatory to help consumers compare products – not just a voluntary code. MPs also demand Government stop forcing lowest earners (mostly women) to pay 25% ‘penalty charge’ if their employer uses a Net Pay pension…

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