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

  • pensionsandsavings.com

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    Category: Monetary and Fiscal Policy

    The Autumn Statement – good to see inflation protection and triple lock promises honoured

    The Autumn Statement – good to see inflation protection and triple lock promises honoured

    Delighted to see Chancellor keeping the State Pension triple lock promise. Ensuring State Pensions and Pension Credit rise by 10.1% cpi for next year is the right decision.  I also welcome the inflation protection for all other benefits as inflation has soared.   Today’s fiscal statement will come as a big relief to millions of worried pensioners.  It is great to see that the Chancellor has decided to honour past commitments to uprate State Pensions in line with September’s 10.1%…

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    Bank of England needs to revise its thinking

    Bank of England needs to revise its thinking

    Bank of England needs to extend emergency gilt buying programme and suspend QT for now.  Pension funds and LDI are not the sole cause of the gilts crisis and should not be blamed.  Monetary policy and fiscal policy errors compounded pressures from actuarial advisors and Pensions Regulator.  To restore confidence, Bank of England is likely to have to extend emergency gilt market support.  Given the role of QE in undermining gilt market stability, Bank of England should announce it is…

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    Bank of England measures and Government policy management

    Bank of England measures and Government policy management

    QT Tantrum – Bank of England u-turn to buy gilts shows its aim of £80billion gilt sales is unrealistic and likely to be far worse than 2013 US taper tantrum. Bank of England had to step in as UK pension fund margin calls – on top of international investor selling – meant there were no buyers. The QE experiment has left a dangerous legacy across the Western world, but the UK has suffered most due to collapsing international confidence about…

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    Chancellor and PM can help pension funds create their Investment Big Bang

    Chancellor and PM can help pension funds create their Investment Big Bang

    PM and Chancellor are right to encourage UK pension funds to invest more in UK growth projects.    Investment Big Bang could be kick-started at pace and scale by DB pensions more easily than DC, including near £300billion local authority pension assets.    If Government offers a guaranteed return at least equivalent to gilts, DB schemes could invest more freely, boost growth more quickly and help fix their deficits faster.    Long-term Asset Fund can help DC schemes overcome daily…

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    Bank of England must put QE on pause tomorrow

    Bank of England must put QE on pause tomorrow

    As Covid pandemic wanes, Bank of England’s emergency policies should be paused.  Money-tree policy has no clear end, but is inflating asset bubbles which may spill over into price inflation.  Global central banks are not even clear that QE is needed as inflation is picking up. QE is still a monetary experiment: When central banks introduced the money-printing idea of ‘quantitative easing’, in the teeth of the financial crisis, the policy was designed to stave off a 1930s-style deflation and…

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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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    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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    Chancellor should seize the chance to use pension assets to boost growth and build back Britain

    Chancellor should seize the chance to use pension assets to boost growth and build back Britain

    Pensions offer Chancellor the chance to boost growth directly rather than borrowing billions.    Defined Benefit schemes better suited to such investments than the much smaller pool of Defined Contribution pension funds with liquidity and daily pricing rules.    Over £2trillion in UK pensions could be investing for long-term growth but regulators are driving them to buy gilts and low return bonds.   Heavy regulatory anchors are weighing down DB schemes and could sink them with low or negative returns…

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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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    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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