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ONS stats confirm Isas more popular than pensions

Billy-Mackay.jpg

Britons saved more into stocks and shares Isas than personal pensions in the last tax year, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Figures from the ONS published today show that £14.28bn was saved into personal pensions, excluding stakeholder, during the 2010/11 tax year. This compares to £15.837bn in stocks and shares Isas.

In 2009/10, £12.542bn was invested in stocks and shares Isas while £14.42bn was contributed to personal pensions.

A J Bell marketing director Billy Mackay (pictured) says it is the first time Isa saving has outstripped personal pension saving since 2001/02.

He says: “The figures are a clear endorsement of the success of Isas, which are simple and easily understood, and show how dangerous complexity can be for pension saving.

“This is a ticking time bomb for the UK. The Government needs to do everything possible to make pensions attractive and simple.”

Recent reports suggest Chancellor George Osborne is contemplating reducing pensions tax relief for higher earners to help fund an increase in the income tax threshold to £10,000.

However analysis from Standard Life indicates no single cut in pensions tax relief would raise the £9.3bn needed to increase the income tax earnings threshold from £8,105 to £10,000.

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  1. This is hardly suprising given all the negative coverage of pensions and the fact that annuity rates are continuing to fall.

    The ISA allows more flexibility in relation to how the benefits are taken. In addition as the ISA allowance increases it is sufficient to cover the level of contributions that the average person would be making to a pension.

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