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All quiet on savings and pensions front

One day, I will be on a Budget panel when there is a really momentous announcement affecting IFAs. But not this year.

Not much about the savings ratio (when a Chancellor does not give one particular statistic in a budget almost wholly comprised of them, you can surmise that it is not improving: we didn&#39t even get told what the ratio was in the Eurozone). Not much about pensions. So there can&#39t be a crisis can there? It will be a cabinet colleague who will give the results of the recent reviews. It must be nothing to do with the Treasury.

I did not detect anything in the Budget to persuade any employer to retain an occupational scheme.

I have always thought that the Child Trust Fund was a worthwhile piece of social engineering; but even this is going to be complicated by being means tested. Coupled with the continued emphasis on Pensions Credit, it now appears that there will be means testing from cradle to grave.

The Pensions Credit point will not make it any easier to advise on the suitability of pensions of the Stakeholder or Sandler variants.

The Sandler proposals on life policy withdrawals were not followed through; I was slightly surprised at this. I suspect that this issue will resurface.

Still, on my regional speaking engagements, I will be able to pop into the local art gallery to take in their latest acquisition paid for out of the new fund (a good idea) and given the emphasis on relocation of public bodies, I may well have to nip up to Inverness to see the FSA. Hope there&#39s a good gallery there.

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