• PENSIONSANDSAVINGS.COM

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

  • pensionsandsavings.com

    Public sector pension ruling has massive ramifications – more reform needed

    Public sector pension ruling has massive ramifications – more reform needed

    Firefighters landmark victory on public sector pensions will mean huge extra costs for taxpayers. Millions of public sector workers will have to be compensated, costing around £4billion a year. Massive indictment of Government handling of pension reform as it ignored advice that warned against discriminating in favour of older workers. Further reform of public sector pensions seems inevitable to control cost but risks industrial unrest. The Government has lost its Appeal to the Supreme Court against rulings that its changes…

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    The wonderful over-70s: inter-generational fairness has many aspects!

    The wonderful over-70s: inter-generational fairness has many aspects!

    LET’S CELEBRATE THE OVER-SEVENTIES. Having always been a champion of the skills, talents and societal contributions of older generations, I recently enjoyed one of my favourite afternoons of the year. It was so uplifting, I have decided to write about it. As Mark Twain said ‘age is an issue of mind over matter, if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter’. That is so true. And a perfect example of this was revealed the other day when, thanks to the Chancellor…

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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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    New Conservative leader must support a Public Vote rather than No Deal

    New Conservative leader must support a Public Vote rather than No Deal

    It is wrong to conclude that the woeful EU election results indicate the Tories must immediately get on with Brexit. The results certainly do not provide a democratic mandate for a No Deal departure. For the Conservative Party to survive as a credible political force, it must now recognise that leaving the EU without a Deal would be electoral suicide. 56% of UK voters in the EU elections supported parties who explicitly reject No Deal – LibDems, Greens, Labour, ChangeUK,…

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    Regulators and Government need to improve consumer protection – consider banning unregulated investments in SIPPs

    Regulators and Government need to improve consumer protection – consider banning unregulated investments in SIPPs

    New Report highlights loss of trust in financial services, as savings rates reach record low.   Calls for regulators to put consumer interests first and pre-empt problems in pensions and finance, rather than dealing with losses after they’ve happened.   For example, banning unregulated investments in SIPPs could protect consumers better. Ros Altmann delighted to be appointed as Transparency Task Force 100th Ambassador.  Saving and investing for the future are an important part of social protection, to help people provide…

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    Four Seasons is just latest example of social care crisis which is crying out for funding reform

    Four Seasons is just latest example of social care crisis which is crying out for funding reform

    Financial restructuring of Four Seasons highlights Social Care funding crisis while Government keeps avoiding urgently-needed reform     Private equity firms and hedge funds are not stable stewards for elderly care Independent Care Home sector has been an accident waiting to happen as financial engineering has driven ownership changes. Care sector also hit by rising wage and pension costs, falling council funding and Brexit-related staff shortages. Elderly Care should not be a financial game – it has people’s lives attached….

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    Auto-enrolment finally reaches maturity – now let’s tackle problems of data accuracy and low earner overcharging

    Auto-enrolment finally reaches maturity – now let’s tackle problems of data accuracy and low earner overcharging

    The pensions auto-enrolment programme – which started in 2012 – has finally reached full contribution levels. After seven years, this radical overhaul of UK pension provision will be properly in place. It has been a widely-acclaimed success, with ten million workers newly saving in a pension scheme organised by their employer. But there are urgent issues to address to protect this success. All UK employers must take responsibility for staff pension: Every UK employer must set up and pay into…

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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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    Today’s news that auto-enrolment has reached the ten million milestone

    Today’s news that auto-enrolment has reached the ten million milestone

    Auto-enrolment has been a huge success so far, but plenty more to do to ensure it works well. Significant milestone reached as 10 million workers are newly saving in a pension scheme but many women and part-timers lose out. Low earners face unfair 25% surcharge for their pension in Net Pay scandal. Incorrect contributions must be corrected urgently to ensure pensions dashboard is reliable. It is great to see the auto-enrolment programme continuing its successful path. So far, it has…

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    Amber Rudd is right to warn employers about pension funding – trustees also need to increase their scrutiny too

    Amber Rudd is right to warn employers about pension funding – trustees also need to increase their scrutiny too

    Amber Rudd is right to warn employers to take pension funding seriously. As most schemes are closed, employers have little business interest in the open-ended legacy liabilities – so important for trustees to increase funding sooner rather than later. DWP and Regulator should also encourage trustees to consider corporate finance advice to scrutinise employer business. Trustees, not employers, run investments and control balance of risks. Amber Rudd has today put employers on notice that they must take their pension liabilities…

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