• PENSIONSANDSAVINGS.COM

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

  • pensionsandsavings.com

    OFT Report on industry charges – who is protecting the customer?

    OFT Report on industry charges – who is protecting the customer?

    23 September 2013 NEST charging structure may be responsible for failure to recommend a charge cap – NEST would not comply with a 1% cap! The long-awaited OFT report into pension scheme charges has finally been released – but its recommendations are disappointingly weak in terms of consumer protection. The OFT has done an excellent job in highlighting the excessive charges on older (particularly pre-2001) pension schemes but it has shied away from recommendations that would quickly bring them down….

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    Wouldn’t a 1% charge cap leave NEST out on a limb?

    Wouldn’t a 1% charge cap leave NEST out on a limb?

    OFT report into pension charges expected to propose a 1% cap How does that square with NEST’s 1.8% initial charge? NEST charging structure needs urgent overhaul as it can be poor value The long-awaited report from the Office of Fair Trading, assessing the charges levied on UK pension plans, is about to be released and is expected to recommend a cap on the charges for UK pensions probably of 1%. This recommendation would raise a number of issues.  It is…

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    Potential good news for pensioners as gilt yields rise

    Potential good news for pensioners as gilt yields rise

    17 September 2013 Rising gilt yields and revised regulations could increase pensioner incomes from income drawdown by 50% But inflexibility prevents pensioners from accessing more of their money By the time they are allowed to, the opportunity may be lost Need to make drawdown more flexible and allow for ill-health  Recent rises in gilt yields and Treasury rule changes for income drawdown mean people could now take much more money out of their pension funds than last year.  This should…

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    Who cares – zero hours contracts for careworkers while care crisis worsens

    Who cares – zero hours contracts for careworkers while care crisis worsens

    Zero hours contracts for private sector careworkers are not conducive to delivering quality care Trying to fund care on the cheap compromises quality Treating care staff decently will require funding reform as care crisis grows As the party conferences shine a spotlight on the problem of zero hours contracts, this seems an opportune time to highlight the working conditions of Britain’s private sector careworkers. Zero hours contracts are standard in this industry.  The staff are also usually expected to fund…

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    DANGER: Even estate agents think house prices rising too fast

    DANGER: Even estate agents think house prices rising too fast

    Calls to cap house price rises are clear sign of housing bubble RICS is shouting from the rooftops – are the authorities listening? No more ‘Help to Buy’ we need ‘Help to Build’ Clear signs of housing bubble: The RICS has issued an unprecedented call for a cap on house price rises.  This suggestion, from the industry most closely associated with the housing market, clearly indicates that house prices are in bubble territory.  It has been clear for months that…

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    Private pensions have become politicians’ piggy banks

    Private pensions have become politicians’ piggy banks

    Here is my article in today’s CityAM http://www.cityam.com/article/1378855577/private-pensions-have-become-piggy-bank-spendthrift-states?utm_source=website&utm_medium=TD_opinion_right_col&utm_campaign=TD_opinion_right_col FIVE years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, and the fallout from the financial crisis is far from over. Across Europe, private pensions have become a targets for politicians seeking to reduce the pressure to rein in spending and manage excessive debt after the crisis. While governments are encouraging or forcing citizens to participate in private pension schemes – with the aim of improving retirement incomes – they have not been able…

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    Pole-axed Pensions – politicians raiding pensions again

    Pole-axed Pensions – politicians raiding pensions again

    10 September 2014 Financial crisis fallout once again hits pensions Polish Government confiscates private pension assets to improve public finances  Politicians have found many ways to raid pension assets when times get tough I just thought I should put together a note following the sudden confiscation by the Polish government of all the bond holdings in Poland’s private sector pension funds last week.  It seems to  me that private pension savings are not safe in Europe and we need to…

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    Care crisis demands urgent action – savings incentives would help families prepare

    Care crisis demands urgent action – savings incentives would help families prepare

    Yet another report highlighting the scale of the social care crisis.  The research by NFU Mutual shows that older generations are increasingly facing crippling care costs in later life that they have not prepared for.  Families are finding that their lifetime savings are at risk if they become ill in the wrong way.  Those who have cancer or other illnesses that qualify for NHS treatment will have all their care covered by taxpayers.  Those unlucky enough to develop dementia or…

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    Blinkered Bank of England ignoring dangers of low rates as economy picks up

    Blinkered Bank of England ignoring dangers of low rates as economy picks up

    4  September 2013 Bank of England should take off its blinkers and look at the economic evidence Low rates are distorting economy – causing borrowers and savers to take too much risk MPC should consider a small rise in rates now As the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee meets, I urge its members to look carefully at the evidence showing a stronger UK economy and start the process of increasing interest rates to more sustainable levels.  Ultra low interest…

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    To buy or not to buy – annuities are a gamble

    To buy or not to buy – annuities are a gamble

    Yes, not buying an annuity is a gamble, as is buying one! The attempts to defend annuity purchase are rather too simplistic.  Of course it is the case that not buying an annuity is a gamble, but what people do not yet realise is that buying one is also a gamble.  Customers need to understand that any decision around annuities is risky.  Currently, the industry and providers and even trustees seem to believe that buying an annuity is the ‘safe’,…

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