• PENSIONSANDSAVINGS.COM

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

  • pensionsandsavings.com

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    Category: UK Economy and Economic Policy

    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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    Conservative Election Manifesto pension policies are worth highlighting

    Conservative Election Manifesto pension policies are worth highlighting

    At last, recognition of injustice for lowest earners, mainly women, forced to pay 25% extra for their pensions in auto-enrolment. Deal with NHS pensions crisis in 30 days – which hopefully will herald radical overhaul of annual and lifetime allowance problems for all. Revival of Pensions Bill quickly for Pensions Dashboard and better Regulator powers. Encourage pension funds to increase long-term investment in scientific development. But more to do on State Pension problems. After this weekend’s bombshell announcement by Labour…

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    Progressive reform agenda to improve quality of life for older citizens, especially women

    Progressive reform agenda to improve quality of life for older citizens, especially women

    Here are some thoughts about urgent policy proposals to improve the fairness of the National Insurance system for women and for the aging population. Top 5 policy recommendations:    Extend triple lock to Pension Credit for oldest, poorest pensioners. Allow early access to State Pension for ill-health, long service or carers. Recognise WASPI concerns and address hardship caused by increased state pension age. Remove National Insurance loopholes that cause women to lose State Pension credits. Offer free personal social care…

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    Proposals to allow pension withdrawals for house purchase are dangerous

    Proposals to allow pension withdrawals for house purchase are dangerous

    Encouraging younger savers to spend their pensions before retirement runs huge risks. Confusing shorter-term cash savings for house deposit with long-term investing for pensions will damage retirement prospects for many. People need pensions to supplement very low State Pension in retirement. More money for house deposits may be popular short-term but could just raise house prices further – boosting demand without expanding supply of homes for sale is not a solution. Don’t muddle pensions with house-buying: Policy proposals suggesting people…

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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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    Brexit and a Second Referendum

    Brexit and a Second Referendum

    A mis-selling scandal – not pensions this time, but Brexit! Referendum campaign misrepresented the impacts of leaving the EU – so people should have the right to change their mind. Misleading customers is against the law in most sectors but politicians are not held accountable. We are told the 2016 Referendum was the biggest exercise in democracy this country has ever seen. Really? If democracy is all about deliberate deception, dishonesty and political spin, then the Referendum was certainly a…

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    Budget 2018 – my first thoughts

    Budget 2018 – my first thoughts

    Chancellor plays it safe – sensible reforms to boost growth and some nice surprises. Glad to see no big changes on pensions. Increase in personal tax threshold to £12,500 will boost auto-enrolment in April 2019 when worker contributions double. But yet another missed opportunity to find money for social care. So there we have it.  The last Budget before Brexit, cleverly crafted to ensure measures will please as many groups as possible who might have been tempted to vote it…

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    Ode to Brexit

    Ode to Brexit

    Britain has voted to leave the EU The country decided to try something new We want to recapture control of our laws A clearly attractive and popular cause British voters were promised the future was bright With immigrant numbers reduced overnight 350 mill extra to keep us all healthier And new global trade deals to make us all wealthier Our Leaders insist we deserve special favours – We’re the mighty UK and EU’s nearest neighbours We seek a new partnership…

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    Government facing Lords defeat tomorrow over refusal to protect consumers

    Government facing Lords defeat tomorrow over refusal to protect consumers

    23 October 2017 Government faces Lords defeat tomorrow over refusal to protect financial consumers Hard to understand why Ministers are resisting changes that have widespread support Policy needs action not words – let’s not miss this opportunity to introduce cold-calling ban Cross-party amendments to Financial Guidance and Claims Bill call for: Ban on cold-calling for pensions Mandatory guidance for pension savers before transferring money out Breathing space to protect people with huge debts (vital as interest rates set to rise)…

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    Inter-generational fairness

    Inter-generational fairness

    16 October 2017 Don’t punish the old to help the young – panic policy changes have political dangers Let’s focus on policies that are fairer across all age ranges Better to address problems of housing or student debt directly And take the opportunity to prepare for social care costs that will burden younger people  Don’t repeat Manifesto errors: Today’s newspaper reports of potential Budget measures to please younger voters seem fraught with danger. The suggestion that older people should be…

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