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Chancellor to keep it simple on pensions

It would be nice to predict an unsurprising year for pensions, when everything happens the way it was planned, but recent history suggests otherwise.

I expect more defined-benefit schemes to stop future accrual for everyone, as the true impact of Work and Pensions Secretary Andrew Smith&#39s announcement on June 11, 2003 hits employers.

The actuarial profession will carry out a fundamental review of the way that transfer values are calculated. People will be horrified by the solvency disclosure figures of defined-benefit schemes.

The Pensions Bill will make its way through Parliament but implementation timetables will slip. The Chancellor will go for the new simplified tax regime because the alternative is much worse. The stakeholder charge cap issue will be resolved but not in a straightforward way.

Pension IFAs will have plenty to keep them occupied but that is nothing new.

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