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Govt again fails to halt annuity reform bill

The Government was unable to defeat Conservative backbencher David Curry&#39s annuity reform bill last week for the third time, ensuring the proposed reforms have at least one more hearing before being quashed by the Government.

Curry&#39s Pensions Annuities Amendment Bill got crossparty support in the House of Commons to defeat the Government twice on amendments it raised.

As Parliamentary time ran out before the report stage was completed, the bill will now have one more hearing on May 10, at which point, the Government will be likely to take measures to kill it off.

The legislation calls for individuals to buy an annuity by the age of 65 big enough to keep them off social assistance, then allows them freedom to spend the remainder of their pension pot as they choose.

Curry says: “Given that the Government was never going to let it become law, it has been an enormous pebble in the Government&#39s sandal.

“Its reform proposals are like giving the rules a new coat of paint and rotating their tyres and hoping you get another 100,000 miles out of them.”

Retirement Income Reform Campaign director Dr. Oonagh McDonald says: “This is a bill which refuses to die and its longevity is thanks to cross-party backbench support.”

A Treasury spokesman says: “We do not believe that the bill does a good job for the vast majority of pensioners.”

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