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Lib Dems put pensions back on the agenda

The new Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy brought pensions back to the forefront of the political agenda this week at the party&#39s Harrogate conference.

Kennedy said he had made it one of the priorities of his leadership to forge a political consensus on pensions reform.

Speaking at a fringe meeting with Lib Dem pension spokesman Steve Webb, Kennedy said he would approach both the Tories and the Government in order to bring pensions back &#34into a world of sanity&#34.

He said &#34If all three parties could sit down with each other and discuss this issue and in the interests of the country we reestablish the consensus [on pensions] that is an objective worth aiming for.&#34

He said in the 1980s there was consensus between major political parties on the issue. But continual changes in Government and constant shifts in policy prevented people planning for retirement.

Kennedy says he believes a great deal of damage was done by New Labour before the last election when it &#34scared people witless&#34 by suggesting the Tories wanted to privatise the state pension.

According to Kennedy this explains Conservative unwillingness to cooperate which he said he understood.

IFA Informed Choice managing director Nick Bamford says: &#34He has got a very valid point. At the moment people are reluctant to plan for retirement because of uncertainty.

&#34The biggest issue is not products or charges or performance but the problem with annuities. Part of the consensus Kennedy wants should be to find alternative ways of converting the pension into income.&#34


Portman Building Society chief exec to step down

Portman Building Society chief executive Ken Culley has announced he will retire at the end of the year. He has been in the role for 16 years.His replacement will be the society&#39s current group operations director Robert Sharpe.Sharpe will become deputy chief executive with effect from October 1 and will succeed Culley on January 1, […]

Financial Action Task Force to set new measures in fight against money laundering

Law enforcement experts are expected to agree penalty measures this week against countries failing to take adequate steps against money laundering according to the Financial Times.The FT says the 26 member country Financial Action Task Force which will draw up a list of approximately 20 criteria to define non-cooperative countries.The FATF has traditionally been reluctant […]

Standard Life asks for investor views on ethical investments

Genetically modified food, intensive farming methods and animal testing are among the main areas of concern for ethical investors a survey for Standard Life Investments has revealed.The survey has been sent to over 4,600 of the life office&#39s customers and 1,000 IFAs and is designed to establish if the current crop of ethical products satisfy […]

Cornhill pulls out of PMI market

Cornhill is pulling out of the UK healthcare insurance market it announced yesterday.Cornhill which has approximately 1 per cent of the UK private medical insurance market, made the unexpected decision after it said it could not see health insurance being profitable for a smaller player over the long term.The insurer says it will stop writing […]

Stop the cold-calling

Royal London is pleased to support the petition calling for a ban on cold-calling for pension and investment products. The petition, launched by IFA Darren Cooke of Red Circle Financial Planning and hosted on the Parliamentary website, calls on the Government to ban cold-calling for pensions and investment products. A similar ban is already in force […]


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