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

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    Why the £86,000 care cap does not ‘fix’ the care crisis and exacerbates inequalities

    Why the £86,000 care cap does not ‘fix’ the care crisis and exacerbates inequalities

    The £86,000 social care cap is more about protecting the wealthiest than fixing social care. £86,000 cap is not the maximum families will spend on care – they will have to spend well over £100,000 before reaching the cap. The new proposed cap will still take most of the assets from families in areas with lower property values, while helping the wealthiest families keep most of their assets.   The headline is that nobody will have to spend more than £86,000…

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    Ten ways in which the social care proposals, while welcome, fall short of what’s needed

    Ten ways in which the social care proposals, while welcome, fall short of what’s needed

    Government plans to reform social care are a start, but nowhere near enough to address the scale and scope of the crisis. Stark unfairnesses remain, with inadequate funding for urgently needed staffing improvements (£500million is just £300 per person). There is inadequate funding for prevention measures. The main part of the reforms will help protect the assets of the wealthiest families, not those living in areas with lower property values. With the Health and Social Care Bill coming over to…

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    State Pension Age hits 66 – isn’t it time to consider allowing early access for those who desperately need it?

    State Pension Age hits 66 – isn’t it time to consider allowing early access for those who desperately need it?

    As State Pension Age rises to 66 with economic meltdown boosting unemployment, there is a strong case to allow early access to State Pensions.  Many over-60s are unwell, genuinely unable to work, or are caring for others and have no private pension.  Healthy life expectancy across the country varies by around 20 years, so rising State Pension Age hits these least healthy hardest.  Those with long National Insurance records, poor health and no prospect of employment cannot receive any State Pension…

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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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    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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    Don’t just focus on the negatives of pension reform – but need FCA to reform advice

    Don’t just focus on the negatives of pension reform – but need FCA to reform advice

    26 March 2015 New Pension rules offer opportunities for better financial engagement FCA needs to authorise basic advice to help people make good decisions   Last week I participated in a really good breakfast discussion about the Pensions Revolution taking place in the UK, hosted by Investec Structured Products.  Pensions experts Robert Cochrane of Scottish Widow, Tom McPhail of Hargreaves Lansdown and myself were joined by ten leading personal finance and retirement journalists to discuss the pension changes starting on…

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    A Savings Revolution to follow the Pensions Revolution

    A Savings Revolution to follow the Pensions Revolution

    18 March 2015 We had the Pensions Revolution last year, now comes the Savings Revolution 95% of savers will pay no tax on their savings – will be popular 5m will be allowed to sell their annuity – that’s great news But cutting Lifetime Allowance for pensions is really bad policy Lifetime limit should only apply to DB, but abolished for DC So there we have it.  The last Budget before the General Election.  A mix of moves to please…

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    Pensioner Benefits

    Pensioner Benefits

    24 February 2015 Protecting pensioner benefits is politically astute but also makes some sense for now Tinkering with the current package of benefits is not a solution – they could be taxed or paid from a later age, but the whole system should be rationalised A proper assessment of all later life support is needed – including social care If the Government just stops paying pensioner benefits such as Winter Fuel Payments or free TV licences, this would be the…

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    Stunning improvements in UK unemployment especially for the young – don’t ignore the over 50s

    Stunning improvements in UK unemployment especially for the young – don’t ignore the over 50s

    17 September 2014 Over 50s are being left behind as policymakers focus on the young Older people also need special help to get back to work and overcome ageism Subsidised apprenticeships and retraining schemes can help Sharp fall in unemployment: The latest unemployment figures, just released by the ONS, show a continuing picture of rapidly falling unemployment.  This is great news, however the statistics also confirm that the over 50s continue to lag behind. Ageism in the workplace continues:  It…

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    Advice so that widows do not lose their husbands’ pensions

    Advice so that widows do not lose their husbands’ pensions

    12 August 2014 It is certainly a problem that many people lose track of old pension entitlements and, especially if husbands have passed away, widows will often be left without anything from their husband’s pension unless they are aware of what his entitlement was. If husbands have died relatively young, a defined benefit pension scheme would provide some money for the widow and a defined contribution scheme could pay out a tax free sum, but widows would need to to…

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