• PENSIONSANDSAVINGS.COM

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

  • pensionsandsavings.com

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    Category: Annuities and Income Drawdown

    Pension charge caps

    Pension charge caps

    17 January 2014 Steve Webb is right to delay introduction of charge cap – 2014 was too soon Cap new scheme charges to protect smaller firms’ workers but leave legacy schemes till after 2018 – and reform NEST charges to allow proper comparison Capping annuity charges is far more important anyway! Sensible decision to delay charge cap:  It is good to see that Steve Webb has decided to delay introducing a cap on the charges paid by workers in auto-enrolment pension schemes. …

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    THE ALTERNATIVE ANNUITY DIRECTORY – WHY IFAs ARE IMPORTANT

    THE ALTERNATIVE ANNUITY DIRECTORY – WHY IFAs ARE IMPORTANT

      14th January 2014 NEW WORDING FOR PICK-A TO DESCRIBE ADVICE AND GUIDANCE The following is the alternative text I have drawn up to more accurately reflect the value of seeking advice from a whole of market independent financial adviser.  It explains the benefits of using an IFA but does also point out that those with small funds may not find advice cost-effective.  With larger funds or for those who qualify for enhanced rates, the IFA advice route can even…

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    Another look at the Pick-A Directory – developing it to be fairer to IFAs

    Another look at the Pick-A Directory – developing it to be fairer to IFAs

    13 January 2014 Pick-A Annuity Directory another look Suggestions to build on all the initial work It is essential to explain properly the value of independent whole of market advice My comments on the Pick-A Directory have really upset those who put it together.  It is such a shame that the wording was not tested on consumer groups or shown to independent advisers before the site went live.  Now that the service is launched I have had a chance to…

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    Pick-A Annuity Directory – why so biased against advisers?

    Pick-A Annuity Directory – why so biased against advisers?

    12 January 2013 PICA Annuity Directory is such a disappointment A wasted opportunity to really ensure customers achieve good outcomes Bias against independent advice and towards non-advice broking is dangerous PICA has just released its long-awaited Annuity Directory (called ‘Pick-A’) which is supposed to help people get better value for their pension savings in retirement.  I had high hopes that this would be a major step forward to ensure customers are clear about what they need in order to achieve…

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    Steve Webb is right to call for annuity reform

    Steve Webb is right to call for annuity reform

    9th January 2014 Steve Webb is right to highlight inadequacies of annuities Better value and more flexible pension products are urgently required Pensions Minister, Steve Webb has been subjected to a tirade of attacks in recent days following his comments about the failings of annuities.  He is accused of proposing unworkable reforms, but he is making valid points.  His remarks seem to have been misunderstood. Of course the Minister understands how annuity products work, but he is highlighting that they…

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    Annuities – now FCA Consumer Panel calls for urgent reform

    Annuities – now FCA Consumer Panel calls for urgent reform

    9 December 2013 Financial Services Consumer Panel slams annuity market Calls for urgent regulatory reform – this is long overdue Fears that annuities don’t offer value for money and insurers making excessive profits Annuity consumers need better protection:  A report just released by the Financial Services Consumer Panel (FSCP) calls for urgent regulatory reform of annuity sales, in order to protect consumers.  http://www.ifaonline.co.uk/ifaonline/news/2317942/fscp-demands-change-in-the-non-advised-annuities-market The FSCP is the consumer body of the FCA – the financial services regulator – and its…

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    Pensions Regulator misses an opportunity to ensure DC trustees address annuity inadequacy

    Pensions Regulator misses an opportunity to ensure DC trustees address annuity inadequacy

    22 November 2013 Another missed opportunity to address the inadequacies of annuities The Pensions Regulator Code of Practice for DC scheme trustees suggests  independent advice or using an annuity broker are of equal value to members But annuity brokers provide no advice, won’t explain benefits of not buying, don’t ensure right product or best rate and still charge fees Independent financial advice should ensure members optimise the value of their pension fund with right timing, right product and best rate…

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    Annuity providers keep £1billion a year as widows left penniless

    Annuity providers keep £1billion a year as widows left penniless

    18 November 2013 Widows penniless while insurers pocket £1billion a year from husbands’ pension funds   Companies make huge profits as customers buy wrong annuity because they don’t understand complex terms Focus just on ‘shopping around’ or ‘best rate’ is not enough, need right product first Channel 4 Dispatches reveals real life example of this failure and insurer agrees to change annuity terms The UK annuity market is failing its customers.  An annuity is a product sold by insurers who…

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    Auto-enrolment focus on pension fund charges misses the bigger picture

    Auto-enrolment focus on pension fund charges misses the bigger picture

    11 November 2013 There are no controls on charges people forced to pay when buying their actual pension Far more money can be lost on annuitisation than saving 0.25% in fees 0.25% charge on £30,000 fund is £75pa but customers lose £600-£1000 when buying their annuity at retirement with no advice Auto-enrolment needs to ensure pensions are good value:  There has been significant debate about capping fees and charges on auto-enrolment pension funds and estimates that people are losing chunks…

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    Time for change: Make pensions fit for 21st Century retirement

    Time for change: Make pensions fit for 21st Century retirement

    14 October 2013 TIME FOR CHANGE:  Rethinking pensions and retirement Pension options not fit for the future as ‘low risk’ investments have become more risky and retirement becomes a process not an event Auto-enrolment pension funds not fit for the future:  Retirement is changing, pensions need to change too. As auto-enrolment ensures millions of people are about to start saving in pension schemes at work, it is important to make future pensions fit future lifestyles.  There is a real danger…

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