• PENSIONSANDSAVINGS.COM

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

  • pensionsandsavings.com

    Browsed by
    Category: Auto-Enrolment, Private Pensions and NEST

    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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    MPs should grasp the chance to protect pensions and boost growth

    MPs should grasp the chance to protect pensions and boost growth

    MPs have a chance to protect pensions or put them more at risk – what will they do? Cross-party MPs will try to reinstate Lords measures to help private sector schemes use their assets to boost the economy, rather than buying more gilts. Remaining private sector final salary-type schemes are under threat from rules that will encourage reckless conservatism. Pensions are a better way to boost growth than relying on QE! The Pension Schemes Bill will have its final session…

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    Improving take up of Pension Wise guidance is crucial to protecting people’s pensions

    Improving take up of Pension Wise guidance is crucial to protecting people’s pensions

    MPs want to improve protection for pension savers by guiding them to better retirement.   I hope government will accept their pension schemes bill amendments.  Government will be under pressure from MPs next week to ensure pension savers are better protected Work and Pensions Select Committee and cross party MPs are right to seek to build on success of automatic enrolment to guide people into better pension decisions Proposed amendments to Pension Schemes Bill in the Commons on Monday want auto-enrolment…

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    PensionWise and Dashboards stuck in the slow lane

    PensionWise and Dashboards stuck in the slow lane

    Pension Reforms to help consumers seem consigned to the slow lane. Pensions Dashboards still 3 years away and measures to improve PensionWise take-up are too weak.   Dashboard acceleration needs data reconciliation and standard statements. PensionWise ‘nudge’ won’t be a game-changer, auto-enrolment is needed to protect more people against scams. Disappointingly slow pace of change for pensions: The Government has today unveiled the latest in its ongoing series of pension reforms, designed to improve the way pensions work for customers. I…

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    Simple Annual Pension Statements – a great idea!

    Simple Annual Pension Statements – a great idea!

    Great to see DWP plans to force pension firms to produce standardised simple annual statements. Customers need simple language to help understand and engage with their pensions. Pensions Dashboard will not work without standardisation – and accurate dat.   New statements should be promoted and explained by national public information campaign.  Standardised, simpler statements need to be mandatory for all providers: The DWP has just released its decision in response to the consultation on simpler, standardised annual pension statements. I am…

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    Helping low earners’ pensions – Glad to see Government’s Call for Evidence

    Helping low earners’ pensions – Glad to see Government’s Call for Evidence

    Government calls for evidence on addressing scandal of lowest earners paying 25% extra for their pensions.  Over one million low-paid women are unknowingly auto-enrolled into employer schemes which leave them with lower take-home pay. Who is looking after these lowest earners who surely need every penny of their pay and their pensions and cannot protect themselves against the income loss.  Short-term fixes could include requiring employers to use suitable schemes for low earners or for schemes and employers to ensure…

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    Pension freedoms carry risks but are better than the old system

    Pension freedoms carry risks but are better than the old system

    FCA concerns about ‘significant risks of harm’ from pension freedoms are valid, but do not mean freedoms are wrong. Consumers are facing new risks, but it is right to allow people to manage their pensions over time, rather than requiring most to just buy a standard annuity.  Original policy intention of ensuring everyone receives impartial guidance or advice before taking money from their pension was absolutely right, but this is not happening in practice.  Without impartial guidance or advice, consumers…

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    Government’s emergency pension measures are welcome

    Government’s emergency pension measures are welcome

    Well done to Government and the Pensions Regulator for emergency pension measures. Protecting the principle of auto-enrolment is hugely important. But allowing employers leeway to delay deficit contributions during current crisis makes sense. Allowing schemes’ trustees to suspend transfers for at least three months can protect members against scams and allow more time to assess more reliable valuations. The Government and the Pensions Regulator deserve plaudits, in my view, for announcing bold emergency measures to address some of the potential…

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