• PENSIONSANDSAVINGS.COM

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

  • pensionsandsavings.com

    Pick-A Annuity Directory – why so biased against advisers?

    Pick-A Annuity Directory – why so biased against advisers?

    12 January 2013 PICA Annuity Directory is such a disappointment A wasted opportunity to really ensure customers achieve good outcomes Bias against independent advice and towards non-advice broking is dangerous PICA has just released its long-awaited Annuity Directory (called ‘Pick-A’) which is supposed to help people get better value for their pension savings in retirement.  I had high hopes that this would be a major step forward to ensure customers are clear about what they need in order to achieve…

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    Steve Webb is right to call for annuity reform

    Steve Webb is right to call for annuity reform

    9th January 2014 Steve Webb is right to highlight inadequacies of annuities Better value and more flexible pension products are urgently required Pensions Minister, Steve Webb has been subjected to a tirade of attacks in recent days following his comments about the failings of annuities.  He is accused of proposing unworkable reforms, but he is making valid points.  His remarks seem to have been misunderstood. Of course the Minister understands how annuity products work, but he is highlighting that they…

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    Why pit pensioners and youngsters against each other?

    Why pit pensioners and youngsters against each other?

    8 January 2014 Lost Generation fears are real but premature Baby boomers also went through tough times but went on to thrive We need to be very careful, coming out of a few years of recession and economic turnmoil, not to become too negative when discussing the plight of younger people today.  Of course, the level of unemployment among younger people is a cause of great concern, but this is not necessarily a ‘lost generation’, as is so often claimed….

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    Pensioner benefits – don’t axe them, tax them

    Pensioner benefits – don’t axe them, tax them

    6 January 2014 Pensioner benefits – Don’t axe them, tax them Consider changing the age of entitlement, rather than means-testing  Pensioner benefits becoming a political football:  The furore over pensioner ‘benefits’ is hotting up.  As the number of UK citizens reaching state pension age soars, the cost of paying National Insurance pensions was always bound to rise.  There is a political backlash against pensioner payments, but it is important to consider this issue carefully.  Rather than using pensions as a…

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    Boom time for UK economy in 2014 – 5% growth!

    Boom time for UK economy in 2014 – 5% growth!

    23 December 2013 Boom time for UK economy in 2014 – 5% growth Positive surprises – higher growth, lower inflation, rising earnings, falling unemployment Economic and political cycle brilliantly aligned – by accident or design? My forecasts for UK economy by end-2014: Growth – 5% Inflation – 2% Earnings growth – 3% Unemployment – 7% – a boom with low inflation, rising earnings and falling unemployment Leading indicators show UK set for a pre-election boom:  The leading economic indicators have been strong for months now and…

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    A wake-up call to embrace benefits of saving and working longer

    A wake-up call to embrace benefits of saving and working longer

    17 December 2013 IFS study is a wake-up call to embrace benefits of saving and working longer Headlines of younger generations being much worse off than previous generations are too negative IFS shows younger cohorts were much better off earlier in their lives but spent rather than saved – as economy picks up they can rethink their lives IFS report shows lower incomes for younger generations partly result from failure to save:  Today’s IFS report has led to dire warnings that…

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    Boom time for economy in 2014

    Boom time for economy in 2014

    16 December 2013 Economic and political cycle brilliantly aligned – by accident or design? Positive surprises – higher growth, lower inflation, rising earnings, falling unemployment Last week I represented the London School of Economics at an Economics Research Council debate called the Clash of the Titans.  http://www.ercouncil.org/clash-of-the-titans-2013/ The event was chaired by Andrew Sentance of PwC, former member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, and saw Kevin Daly of Goldman Sachs – representing Cambridge University, Stephen King of…

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    Annuities – now FCA Consumer Panel calls for urgent reform

    Annuities – now FCA Consumer Panel calls for urgent reform

    9 December 2013 Financial Services Consumer Panel slams annuity market Calls for urgent regulatory reform – this is long overdue Fears that annuities don’t offer value for money and insurers making excessive profits Annuity consumers need better protection:  A report just released by the Financial Services Consumer Panel (FSCP) calls for urgent regulatory reform of annuity sales, in order to protect consumers.  http://www.ifaonline.co.uk/ifaonline/news/2317942/fscp-demands-change-in-the-non-advised-annuities-market The FSCP is the consumer body of the FCA – the financial services regulator – and its…

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    Autumn Statement – implications for pensions and savings

    Autumn Statement – implications for pensions and savings

    5 December 2013 Summary of Autumn Statement measures relating to pensions and savings People will be allowed to buy extra state pension:  People will be allowed to buy extra state pension with introduction of Class 3A National Insurance.  There are no details yet, but the plan is that those who reach state pension age before the new flat-rate state pension is introduced in April 2016.  Existing pensioners as well as those reaching state pension age soon, will be able to…

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    Rising state pension age is not a penalty on the young

    Rising state pension age is not a penalty on the young

    5 December 2013 Rising state pension age is not a penalty on the young – it’s an opportunity to embrace a new type of retirement  Retirement needs to change – it is not an aspiration to live on a state pension for over 30 years! There is much angst this morning about the Chancellor’s suggestion of increasing state pension ages for younger generations.  Quite frankly, the concerns seem based on out of date ideas about the nature of state pensions and retirement. …

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