• PENSIONSANDSAVINGS.COM

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

  • pensionsandsavings.com

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    Category: Auto-Enrolment, Private Pensions and NEST

    Govt commitment to reform NHS pensions may pave the way for radical pension tax relief reform too

    Govt commitment to reform NHS pensions may pave the way for radical pension tax relief reform too

    Could Government commitment to sort out NHS pensions herald radical pension reform?  NHS problems are canary in the coalmine showing need to urgently change pensions tax rules.  Tapered Annual Allowance and Lifetime Allowance should be changed or abolished.  Reforming the £50billion annual cost of pensions tax reliefs (which gives top earners most help) could raise much-needed revenue AND improve pension outcomes. Reforms that could introduce new one-nation pension incentives and also save money include: Give everyone the same top-up to…

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    Time for Government to force pension firms to send plain English statements to their customers so they can understand pensions

    Time for Government to force pension firms to send plain English statements to their customers so they can understand pensions

    Government should force pension firms to send simpler, standardised annual statements.   It’s time for pension providers to help customers understand their pensions, not leave them baffled by jargon. Pensions Dashboard will not work without standardisation – and accurate data.   Annual pension statements could be sent for customer’s birthday wishing ‘many happy returns’! New statements should be promoted and explained by national public information campaign. Showing forecast pension at two ages e.g 60 and 67 could offer positive behavioural…

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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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    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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    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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    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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    Regulators and Government need to improve consumer protection – consider banning unregulated investments in SIPPs

    Regulators and Government need to improve consumer protection – consider banning unregulated investments in SIPPs

    New Report highlights loss of trust in financial services, as savings rates reach record low.   Calls for regulators to put consumer interests first and pre-empt problems in pensions and finance, rather than dealing with losses after they’ve happened.   For example, banning unregulated investments in SIPPs could protect consumers better. Ros Altmann delighted to be appointed as Transparency Task Force 100th Ambassador.  Saving and investing for the future are an important part of social protection, to help people provide…

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    Auto-enrolment finally reaches maturity – now let’s tackle problems of data accuracy and low earner overcharging

    Auto-enrolment finally reaches maturity – now let’s tackle problems of data accuracy and low earner overcharging

    The pensions auto-enrolment programme – which started in 2012 – has finally reached full contribution levels. After seven years, this radical overhaul of UK pension provision will be properly in place. It has been a widely-acclaimed success, with ten million workers newly saving in a pension scheme organised by their employer. But there are urgent issues to address to protect this success. All UK employers must take responsibility for staff pension: Every UK employer must set up and pay into…

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    Today’s news that auto-enrolment has reached the ten million milestone

    Today’s news that auto-enrolment has reached the ten million milestone

    Auto-enrolment has been a huge success so far, but plenty more to do to ensure it works well. Significant milestone reached as 10 million workers are newly saving in a pension scheme but many women and part-timers lose out. Low earners face unfair 25% surcharge for their pension in Net Pay scandal. Incorrect contributions must be corrected urgently to ensure pensions dashboard is reliable. It is great to see the auto-enrolment programme continuing its successful path. So far, it has…

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