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Consumers regard annuities as “legalised robbery”

Consumers regard annuities as “legalised robbery” and have completely disengaged from pensions as a retirement vehicle according to The Pensions Report 2007.

The Report which is out today, found that the public have a deep distrust of government, pension providers and advisers.

But The Pensions Report chairman Malcolm Small says it is not all bad news for the pensions sector.

Small says: “Our findings have shown encouraging signs that consumers are aware that they have a pension crisis looming and that they are taking steps to tackle it. The fact that 84 per cent of the consumers we surveyed believe that the proposed Personal Accounts scheme is a good idea is an encouraging sign that people can be tempted back to pensions as their main source of retirement income.

“However, the fact that public trust has been eroded to such an extent is obviously a bad sign for the industry and one that needs to be urgently addressed.”

The report published by Taxbriefs Financial Planning revealed that 40 per cent of people plan to use property to help fund their post-work lives.

It featured contributions from Watson Wyatt senior consultant Alan Pickering CBE and former head of the NAPF, and David Coleman, Professor in Demography at Oxford University.

Small says: “It seems that many consumers are taking increasing control of their own retirement provision as shown by the recent surge of online activity and the growth of Sipps. This is reinforced further by our data and my forecast is that this is likely to continue at the expense of occupational pensions schemes. With occupational numbers decreasing by nearly 25 per cent in 2 years, we must hope that the UK population tackles its own pension needs individually.”

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