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Opposition doubt reforms will raise saving

Opposition parties say the Government has failed to prove its pension reforms will raise the nation’s savings levels and claim the continuation of means-testing will discourage savers.

Responding to the White Paper in Parliament, Tory Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Philip Hammond said it was far from clear how the proposals would improve savings habits.

The Tories are concerned that the implementation of the national personal accounts scheme, the abolition of the contracted-out rebate and other reforms will worsen the savings ratio rather than improve it.

Hammond called on the Government to ensure its review of occupational scheme regulations prevents the reforms from becoming the death knell for such benefits.

He says: “It is far from clear to us that, with 30 to 45 per cent of the pensioner population remaining within means-tested benefits, savings behaviour will change as is required to deliver the Government’s objectives.”

LibDem Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary David Laws says the continued reliance on means-testing will undermine incentives to save while failing to provide a decent minimum income to keep all pensioners out of poverty.

Laws says: “The Government is building its future pension system on the sand of a totally inadequate basic state pension. The continuation of complexity, mass means-testing and a low basic pension threaten to undermine today’s settlement.”

Work and Pensions Secretary John Hutton has responded to criticism of the continuation of means-testing – which is planned to level out at around 33 per cent of pensioners – by claiming that only 6 per cent of pensioners will be in receipt of the guaranteed credit by 2050, with the remainder receiving a savings credit designed to reward saving.


Countrywide Mortgage Centres becomes member of PMPA

Countrywide Mortgage Centres has become a member of The Professional Mortgage Packagers Alliance. Situated in Bedford and part of Countrywide plc, Countrywide Mortgage Centres has a direct-to-consumer operation, a packaging business that services brokers across most of England, and deals with mortgage applications to non-panel lenders that originate from the Countrywide Groups 1100 branches. PMPA […]

Standard win demutualisation vote by a landslide

Standard Life policyholders have voted overwhelmingly for demutualisation, securing 98 per cent of member votes for the resolution.Of all the votes cast, 1,545,314 voted yes while 32,474, only 2 per cent, voted no. This marks the end of Standard Life’s 81 year-old history as a mutual.The resolution was verified at the special general meeting held […]

Boxing clever

Innovation and creativity are not two words that have been associated much with the mortgage industry in the past 18 months. The introduction of mortgage regulation managed to slow down innovation as lenders concentrated on getting to grips with the new regime and ensuring that their systems could cope.

CII fear that FOS changes will not protect innocent firms

The CII has raised fears that ten free cases from the Financial Ombudsman Service will not be enough to protect innocent firms.The FOS has tabled 10 options following persistent lobbying to scrap the current system where firms have to pay a case fee if they receive more than two complaints, regardless of whether or not […]


Almost nine in 10 employers admit failings with post-DRA compliance

The default retirement age (DRA) was abolished more than three years ago, yet new research from Jelf Employee Benefits suggests that the vast majority of employers still have some way to go to fully understand, comply and communicate the landmark legislation change that prevents older employees being forcibly retired on the grounds of age alone.


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