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

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    Author: Ros Altmann

    Queens Speech – another missed chance to reform social care – if not now, when?

    Queens Speech – another missed chance to reform social care – if not now, when?

    If not now, when? Queen’s Speech missed another chance for social care reform.  The pandemic has highlighted so many failures in our social care system, leaving elderly people without the care and support they require.    25,000 people relying on social care at home died, with excess deaths in some areas doubling or trebling as Covid-19 interrupted care services.    Thousands more care home residents died last year as care homes were relegated to second class provision.    Legislation is…

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    FCA proposes tougher action to protect pension customers – at last!

    FCA proposes tougher action to protect pension customers – at last!

    At last the FCA will force providers to help customers with unbiased PensionWise guidance. Pension freedoms were always intended to go hand in hand with help for customers to understand the risks of taking money from their pension.   PensionWise service has rave reviews but less than one in ten customers use it before withdrawing or moving their pension money.   Let’s hope providers do ensure their customers take-up PensionWise appointments to help avoid scams or expensive irreversible mistakes and unnecessary tax…

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    State Pension Age policy needs urgent review

    State Pension Age policy needs urgent review

    ONS life expectancy figures confirm need for urgent rethink of State Pension Age policy. 20-year difference in UK healthy life expectancy highlights injustice of continuing to force everyone to wait longer for their State Pension to start. Those in poorest health, carers, or long National Insurance records, may need State Pension before age 66. Delaying State Pension receipt for older people in poor health, unable to work and with no private pension is inequitable. A flexible band of pension ages…

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    Budget Comment

    Budget Comment

    Freezing the Pensions Lifetime Allowance will hit younger pension savers while older and wealthiest will already have protection at higher levels. Constant changes in rules and limits undermines long-term retirement planning. Chancellor should consider root and branch review of all the allowances to ensure a sustainable and stable system. This review should include identifying ways of incorporating provision for social care into long-term savings and pensions. Damage to confidence in long-term retirement planning: I recognise that the Chancellor has a…

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    Pensions can rebuild Britain – here’s my six-point plan for the Chancellor

    Pensions can rebuild Britain – here’s my six-point plan for the Chancellor

    Chancellor has golden opportunity to use pensions to help boost growth. My six-point plan to use private and local authority pensions to build back Britain at lower cost to taxpayers. The UK has a tremendous advantage over other countries because we have always had a strong private pensions sector, with over £2trillion in assets set aside for future pensions. As we build back after the latest economic shock, pensions could and should be a powerful part of our economic recovery….

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    Welcome NHS reform proposals are a missed opportunity

    Welcome NHS reform proposals are a missed opportunity

    Integrating NHS and social care won’t sort out care crisis without the long-promised overhaul of social care funding.    Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the massive failings in our care system which leaves elderly people as an afterthought.  Social care funding reforms desperately needed to ensure all older people have basic dignified care regardless of their illness.  I welcome the Government’s plans for a blueprint for integration of health and social care: Properly integrating social care with NHS care is long overdue,…

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    Shocking FCA findings – consumers may have no protection from poor advice in pension transfers

    Shocking FCA findings – consumers may have no protection from poor advice in pension transfers

    Shocking FCA findings that many advice firms had no professional indemnity cover, leaving customers unprotected against mis-selling.  Waiting till October 2020 to ban Contingent Charging, downplayed customer protection and put consumers at greater risk.  The ban was needed long ago, as it was obvious that advisers who only get paid if they advise customers to transfer, can be biased towards advice to transfer even if unsuitable.   The FCA has just released updated data about Defined Benefit pension transfers from 2018…

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    When will pensions become user friendly?

    When will pensions become user friendly?

    People’s Pension research highlights tremendous opportunities of pension freedoms being missed. Freedoms can make pensions more customer-friendly and help them last longer into later life. When will the industry wake up to the chance to promote pensions and encourage customers not to take money out too soon? Here are my thoughts on pensions from the customer perspective.  The findings do not suggest problems with the principles of freedom and choice. They do, however, imply problems in the way the industry…

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    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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