• PENSIONSANDSAVINGS.COM

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

  • pensionsandsavings.com

    FCA moving in the right direction on pension freedoms at last

    FCA moving in the right direction on pension freedoms at last

    Pension Freedoms not yet working properly as millions have no independent guidance or advice. FCA study highlights need to redesign drawdown for new customer profiles. Regulator demands better investment options, cost transparency and threatens to cap charges. Wake-up packs at age 50 and standard ‘pensions passport’ are major improvements.   New regime not working well for customers as providers fail to innovate: The FCA’s latest report on how pension freedoms have impacted the retirement income space shows that there is…

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    Funding crisis of elderly care services

    Funding crisis of elderly care services

    This blog is an extended version of my letter published in today’s Times. Click here to view. May I offer some essential considerations for long-term solutions to the fragmentation and funding crisis of elderly care services, following recent reports by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, among others (Comment article by Paul Johnson). In the 1940s, William Beveridge designed the NHS as a ‘make-you-better’ service, offering acute interventions that cure patients who can resume normal life. It was never intended as…

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    Digital Discrimination leaves millions of older people at risk

    Digital Discrimination leaves millions of older people at risk

    AgeUK finds Government guilty of digital age discrimination leaving millions of older people at risk of poverty. Elderly citizens denied benefit entitlements because they can’t cope online need special help. Be proud that Britain is leading many technological advances, but this risks older generations being increasingly marginalised by society. 3.8million older people in Britain today have never used the internet: Many of us are so used to online connections that we are in danger of forgetting how fast the technological…

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    Don’t hit older workers to pay for social care – need a solution that is fair across and within generations

    Don’t hit older workers to pay for social care – need a solution that is fair across and within generations

    Forcing pensioner workers to pay National Insurance is not a solution to care funding crisis Imposing new National Insurance on just one group introduces new unfairness and could be politically damaging Pensioners are not entitled to many of the benefits that National Insurance covers Working past pension age should be encouraged, not penalised to pay for other people’s care How could Government justify forcing pensioner workers to fund other people’s social care while non-working pensioners on huge pensions pay no…

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    MPs highlight gaping holes in pension options and protections at retirement

    MPs highlight gaping holes in pension options and protections at retirement

    Work and Pensions Committee Report exposes gaping hole in pension freedoms as customers are left unprotected at retirement. Urgent calls for simpler, fairer information and standardised forms to help people understand their pension options and improve retirement income. Pressure on pensions industry to offer innovative products and good value default options for retirement income as MPs call for NEST to be allowed to compete. Before taking money out of pensions, more people need impartial financial guidance or advice.   Gaping…

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    Shocking failings at Financial Ombudsman uncovered

    Shocking failings at Financial Ombudsman uncovered

     Shocking failings uncovered at Financial Ombudsman.  Channel 4 Dispatches undercover investigation finds major flaws in Ombudsman operation.  FOS staff who don’t understand financial products, are pressured to turn down complaints and side with banks or financial providers.  Urgent action needed to ensure financial customers have proper system of fair redress. Tonight at 8pm a Channel4 Dispatches programme will show shocking evidence of failings at the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). Members of the public are told to complain to the Ombudsman…

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    MPs have chance to beef up pension cold-calling ban to make it more effective and ensure more get impartial guidance

    MPs have chance to beef up pension cold-calling ban to make it more effective and ensure more get impartial guidance

     MPs must ensure Government’s promised cold-calling ban actually works.  Providers should also be required to automatically refer customers to PensionWise guidance  Financial Guidance and Claims Bill comes to Commons tomorrow for crucial votes – a chance to achieve proper protections, not just worthy headlines  I hope Government will back Frank Field’s amendments for cold-calling and automatic pensions guidance rather than its own weaker proposals An opportunity to improve consumer protection properly: The House of Commons will vote tomorrow, Monday 12…

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    State Pension age rising to 70 even though UK State Pension is lowest in the world

    State Pension age rising to 70 even though UK State Pension is lowest in the world

    UK State Pension officially the worst in the world – but still needs to be cut further. Middle income groups receive worse pensions than any other country in the OECD. Government actuaries say under-30s won’t get state pension till their 70s as new State Pension system is unaffordable. The Government Actuary says the UK State Pension is not sustainable, even though it is the lowest in the developed world, according to latest OECD figures. UK bottom of the global pensions…

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    Government trying to weaken consumer protection for pensions

    Government trying to weaken consumer protection for pensions

    Changes to Financial Guidance Bill would leave pension customers more at risk of scams and fraud, buying overpriced products or paying unnecessary tax. Automatic guidance can help pension customers make the most of their pension savings. Disappointing to see Government bowing to industry pressure to weaken consumer protection. More pension customers will be at risk of scams and losses: I am really disappointed that the Government seems to have bowed to industry pressure and proposes to weaken consumer protection for…

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    Did Carillion’s banks demand pension scheme sacrifices as price of more loans?

    Did Carillion’s banks demand pension scheme sacrifices as price of more loans?

    Carillion suggests some firms treat pension debt as ‘optional’. Did lenders demand pension fund should be sacrificed as condition of bank loan? Trustees and Pensions Regulator must be consulted before scheme security is compromised. Totally unacceptable to insist pension security plays second fiddle – these liabilities have people’s lives attached. Serious questions about banks demands to reduce pension funding as condition of new loans: Evidence is emerging today which suggests that Carillion’s banks insisted further lending to the company was…

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