At the Tory Party conference in Manchester, Shadow pensions minister Nigel Waterson revealed he and his colleagues are furious they were not consulted on changes to auto-enrolment timeframes.
He said: “I think that does cast a real shadow over the whole project.”
Industry experts believe the auto-enrolment delay has focused Tory minds on radical changes to the scheme. Plans for a lifetime savings account were laid out in the last Tory manifesto in 2005 and proposals may include the promotion of workplace Isas.
Waterson said: “We are looking at all sorts of flexibilities. I think we might get away from the notion of pensions and look at lifetime savings.
“We have not got a developed policy yet. All I can say is that we are certainly looking at the KiwiSaver model quite closely.”
Under New Zealand’s KiwiSaver scheme, members can access their pension savings if they are moving overseas, to buy a first home, fund healthcare if they become seriously ill or deal with financial hardship.
Cicero Consulting director Iain Anderson says: “The Conservatives are certainly angered by the Government’s recent moves on personal accounts and are looking at plan B actively now.
“This includes promoting the Isa as the main vehicle for lower-income-earners as part of likely lifetime savings proposals.”
What are your views? Would a scheme more like the KiwiSaver encourage more people to save? Or should we crack on with personal accounts now a significant amount of taxpayers’ money has been thrown into it?
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