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Asp axe would break age laws

Pension guru Steve Bee has warned the Treasury that scrapping Asps would make A-Day rules fall foul of anti-age discrimination legislation.

Last week, the Treasury told Money Marketing it would be forced to scrap Asps if advisers continue to “wilfully abuse” them to help their clients avoid inheritance tax.

But Scottish Life head of pensions strategy Bee says forced annuitisation at 75 would be considered ageist under the European Directive on Age Discrimination, which comes into force in October.

He says: “People of 76 should have the same opt- ions as people of 74. Any- thing else would be considered ageist and somebody would challenge this in a European court.”

Bee says the Asp rules were put in place in part to ensure the A-Day changes complied with new EU rules. He says removing them would force the Government to revise A-Day rules before October.

However, a spokesman for the Treasury says: “The new simplified pension regime, including provision for annuitisation, is fully compliant with UK and European law on age discrimination.”

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