• PENSIONSANDSAVINGS.COM

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

  • pensionsandsavings.com

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    Category: Monetary Policy and Interest Rates

    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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    Wonderful news: Barclays to waive interest charges on arranged overdrafts

    Wonderful news: Barclays to waive interest charges on arranged overdrafts

    WELL DONE TO BARCLAYS – FIRST BANK TO AGREE TO WAIVE OVERDRAFT CHARGES   It will not charge customers using arranged overdrafts from Friday till end April 2020   Congratulations to Barclays Bank for being the first to announce it will suspend interest charges for its customers who need to dip into their arranged overdraft facilities.  Until now, even those people using arranged overdrafts were facing penal interest charges of around 40% a year.  Now, the bank says its customers…

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    Banks should immediately cut record high credit card interest rates to 0.5% and reduce overdraft rates to help customers weather this crisis

    Banks should immediately cut record high credit card interest rates to 0.5% and reduce overdraft rates to help customers weather this crisis

    Two suggestions for banks to introduce immediately to help customers cope with the current crisis.  Reduce credit card interest rates to 0.5% Abandon plans to increase overdraft interest rates to nearly 40% Credit card interest rates are at record highs, despite the bank rate at a record low: Credit card interest rates are higher now than they were before the 2008 financial crisis. Unfortunately, banks have been continuing to increase the interest rates charged to credit card customers, even as…

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    Pensions tax relief changes – legacy of Gordon Brown’s pension raid should be a warning to the new Chancellor

    Pensions tax relief changes – legacy of Gordon Brown’s pension raid should be a warning to the new Chancellor

    Removing higher rate tax relief from pensions is a lose-lose proposition which helps nobody and hurts millions.  Reforming pension incentives is enormously complicated and Treasury should beware of unintended consequences. Recent changes to Pension Allowances designed to reduce pension tax relief for higher earners  fuelled an NHS crisis, showing the dangers of chasing political headlines and short-term cost saving. Government should not be undermining saving incentives when debt is already at record levels.  Any reform of tax relief should improve…

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    Bank of England must not cut rates this week

    Bank of England must not cut rates this week

    Latest forward-looking indicators are positive so using pre-election economic weakness to justify rate reductions makes no sense . Who will benefit from lower interest rates anyway? Mortgages may be cheaper but house prices and rents may rise, and banks have not passed on rate reductions to consumers. Higher credit card and overdraft rates and more consumers using buy now pay later schemes are weakening household finances. Apparently there is talk of the Bank of England deciding to reduce interest rates…

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    Britain sinking deeper into debt as more consumers buy on high-interest credit

    Britain sinking deeper into debt as more consumers buy on high-interest credit

    Ultra-low interest rates are not feeding through to individual consumers.   Since 2009, credit card lending now 40% higher and household non-mortgage debt up 52.6%.   Average adult pays nearly £1000 a year in interest as retailers increasingly use buy now, pay later. 40% of working age people have under £100 in savings and are vulnerable to any economic weakness. Should Regulators curb unsecured borrowing at high rates given indications that we may be repeating mistakes that caused the financial…

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    QE is 10 years old – have the side-effects been driving populist anger, Brexit and Trump?

    QE is 10 years old – have the side-effects been driving populist anger, Brexit and Trump?

    Ten years since QE started – has this ‘emergency monetary experiment’ contributed to Brexit, rising populism and anti-capitalism?    QE benefits Governments, banks and wealthiest in society and disadvantages younger and less well-off groups.  Central Bank policies may have operated as disguised fiscal policy without democratic accountability. QE started ten years ago as an emergency monetary experiment: When the Bank of England (BoE) introduced ‘quantitative easing’, in the teeth of the financial crisis ten years ago, the policy was supposed…

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    Capitalism is the best system, but has it been undermined by QE

    Capitalism is the best system, but has it been undermined by QE

    28 September 2017 Mrs. May is right – capitalism boosts growth and economic progress but she fails to recognise central banks have distorted capital markets with dangerous political consequences  Government bond markets are rigged in favour of the strong at expense of the weak as QE redistributes wealth away from the young and enriches the wealthiest groups  Central Bank policies have operated as disguised fiscal policy without democratic accountability  Socialism is not the answer – that would make everyone poorer…

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