The Government appears to have executed a dramatic u-turn by suggesting any pension saver who wants to delay annuity purchase past age 75 is free to move their funds into ASP, says Hornbuckle Mitchell’s marketing director Mary Stewart.
She adds: “Although there were no restrictions on who put funds into ASP written into the rules, the Government said it was only for those with religious objections to pooling risk”.
The then economic secretary to the Treasury Ed Balls threatened to withdraw ASP altogether if it became a way for people to avoid annuitising at age 75, says Stewart.
“However, fast forward to the financial crisis of 2008 and the religious restriction appears to have been dropped, with the Department of Work and Pensions saying ASP is now an option for anyone nearing age 75 to delay annuitisation while their pension fund values recover,” she adds.
Stewart says that the Government is using ASP for political purposes, primarily as a reason not to implement the Conservative’s proposal to suspend the age 75 rule.