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Conservatives to appoint Ros Altmann consumer protection minister

Ros Altmann is to be made a peer and appointed as a minister responsible for financial consumer protection and education, if the Conservatives are in government after the election.

Altmann’s first task will be to lead a review of the pension reforms, including the future of the Money Advice Service and whether a charge cap should be introduced on pension products.

Altmann will also develop Pension Wise to offer financial education and guidance to working people, not just retirees, and look at how older consumers’ rights, especially in the mortgage market, can be improved.

She says: “It [a review of the MAS] is certainly something I’ll be looking at as part of the review.”

Prime Minister David Cameron says: “What we’re doing is taking the country’s leading expert on pensions, on savings, on financial education, Ros Altmann, and saying that if we’re re-elected, she’ll be at the heart of government, making sure we complete this great revolution where we’re giving people much more power to save, to access their pension, to pass their pension on to their children, because we want to create a real savings culture in our country for everybody. Not for the rich at the top, but for everybody who saves or has a pension.”

Hargreaves Lansdown head of pensions research Tom McPhail says he has “mixed feelings” about the announcement.

He says: “Ros has a strong reputation for speaking up on behalf of consumers on matters of personal finance, in particular on pensions. However her remit will cover consumer protection and financial education, tasks which are already performed by organisations such as the Financial Conduct Authority and the Money Advice Service.

“The key priority and principle measure of success for any savings and investment minister should be encouraging more people to save and invest. Unfortunately this essential objective is still not being taken seriously enough by any of the political parties, and it does not seem to be within the scope of this role either.”

Altmann is currently the Government’s older workers’ champion and was previously an investment banker and director-general of Saga.

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Comments

There are 11 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. If, and it’s a big IF, the conservatives win the election and Ms Altmann gets this elevation in status I hope she will actively lobby on behalf of the 4% of state pensioners who have their paid for pensions frozen just because of where they live. So far she has not actually done anything for them other than agree this policy is an injustice and has been so for decades. These victims of this theft and blatant discrimination have been ignored by those very people who should be standing in their corner, ignored year after year as their pensions diminish in value….many of the oldest seniors getting less than £20 a week when they should be getting more than £100. A disgusting way to treat vulnerable seniors whose only crime is to be living in the “wrong” country.

  2. Andy Robertson-Fox 19th April 2015 at 9:27 am

    It is to be hoped thati if the Conservatives do form the next government and Dr Altmann is elevated to the House of Lords she will, in her review of pension reforms, recommend the immediate abolition of the State Retirement Pension frozen pension policy.
    Dr. Altmann has long been aware of this illogical and irrational discrimination against 4% of UK pensioners but, despite being a prominent figure in the pensioner world has seemingly only admired from a distance the campaign for universal fairness, justice and equality in the treatment of British pensioners abroad.
    If she is, as Cameron indicates, “at the heart of government” after 7th May perhaps her admiration for the campaign will develop into positive action to bring about its realisation.

  3. How can someone who has been a dogmatic advocate of the pension reforms be tasked with conducting a review of them? This is the same person who was using anecdotes from the first day of the reforms (which was a bank holiday) as evidence to support the notion that “prudent savers” would not blow their money.

    There are numerous issues with this (proposed) appointment, and it clearly seems to be a case of the wrong person for the wrong job.

  4. Rt Hon Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling 20th April 2015 at 11:44 am

    Um, ere…. don’t you have to be elected to parliament to become a minister. Tedious this democracy isn’t it?

  5. “Altmann’s first task will be to lead a review of the pension reforms, including the future of the Money Advice Service and whether a charge cap should be introduced on pension products” Is this a job or a task. If so, I can’t remember seeing the job being advertised…. Does Tom McPhail want to apply for it? What about Harry Katz now he’s retired as a financial adviser?

  6. Andy Robertson-Fox 20th April 2015 at 12:44 pm

    Rt.Hon Sir Arthur…..she would be a minister in the House of Lords…not Commons…and would, therefore, be elevated to the peerage…n election required

  7. Andy Robertson-Fox 20th April 2015 at 12:47 pm

    Just commented in response to Sir Arthur….now where is my original posting sent on Saturday, please ?

  8. I’ve never been a particular fan of Dr. Altmann. I’m sure her heart is in the right place, but she seems to have a fairly sizeable chip on her shoulder with regard to Advisers and Providers. Some of the comments I’ve seen in print from her about the industry are horrendously biased and make the Daily Mail look neutral!

  9. Andy Robertson-Fox 20th April 2015 at 2:38 pm

    Re my earlier comment about Altmann going to the Lords – the last phrase should read “NO election required”

  10. I’ve never been a particular fan of Dr. Altmann. I’m sure her heart is in the right place, but she seems to have a fairly sizeable chip on her shoulder with regard to Advisers and Providers. Some of the comments I’ve seen in print from her about the industry are horrendously biased and make the Daily Mail look neutral!

  11. Good ole DC, granted this peerage so you can get your people in the back door and front up a made up title !!

    Thought we were doing away with kind of quango crap ?

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