• PENSIONSANDSAVINGS.COM

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

  • pensionsandsavings.com

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    Category: Savers and Savings Policy

    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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    Pensions can rebuild Britain – here’s my six-point plan for the Chancellor

    Pensions can rebuild Britain – here’s my six-point plan for the Chancellor

    Chancellor has golden opportunity to use pensions to help boost growth. My six-point plan to use private and local authority pensions to build back Britain at lower cost to taxpayers. The UK has a tremendous advantage over other countries because we have always had a strong private pensions sector, with over £2trillion in assets set aside for future pensions. As we build back after the latest economic shock, pensions could and should be a powerful part of our economic recovery….

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    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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    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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    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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    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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    Pension Scams – risks rising if more people at home and markets so weak

    Pension Scams – risks rising if more people at home and markets so weak

    Pension scam risks increase with people at home and markets in meltdown.   More people likely to be caught by cold-calling or online scammers.  Urgent Regulatory action and early warning systems required to improve consumer protection. Parliamentarians support new All-Party Parliamentary Group on Pension Scams.  More people at home gives more easy targets for fraudsters: As more people are forced to stay at home during the current coronavirus crisis and investment markets have plunged, the risks of cold-calling criminals or…

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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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