View more on these topics

Protecting long-term savings from short-term policy

By Jamie Clark, Business Development Manager

The pensions revolution is almost upon us. As with any revolution, there will be winners and losers. The winners in this case could presumably be the politicians that orchestrated pensions freedom and choice just before the general election. As for the losers, there may be many thousands of people who simply do not understand just how detrimental to their financial health the incorrect decision (or indecision) might be. Putting in place protection for these people has been a rather rushed afterthought. Evidence of this includes the FCA using their “emergency powers” to quickly establish processes designed to help protect consumers from their own decisions.

Jamie Clark

The real problem here is that pensions continue to be used as a political football. Party leaders continue to promise to fiddle around the edges of the pension rules with their focus firmly on the silent grey majority. This creates confusion in the industry and has the potential to destabilise the market — just like what happened to annuity sales after the budget announcement.

For a good few years, commentators have talked about the need to remove major decisions and policies that affect long-term pension savings from the short-termism political arena. It’s pleasing to see that the Work and Pensions Committee has called for government to set up an independent pensions commission to look at the impact of automatic enrolment and the new freedoms and suggest any changes that might be required. If long-term savers are to be protected from sometimes sudden seismic shifts in policy, maybe this needs to go further and be a permanent part of the pensions landscape going forward.

Recommended

George-Osborne-in-Television-Studio-700.jpg
2

Osborne to deliver second Budget on 8 July

Chancellor George Osborne is to deliver his second Budget of the year on 8 July. Writing in The Sun at the weekend, Osborne pledged the package of measures announced in the Budget would be a “Budget for working people”. The Treasury is yet to spell out how it will cut £10bn from the UK’s welfare […]

Sprouting-Money-Growth-Emerging-Currency-700.jpg

Small caps set to climb as IPOs grow and Europe recovers

The UK small cap market is set to regain traction on the back of weak sterling, a stronger IPO market and the more positive outlook in Europe. Valuations have become more attractive following the sell-off in the small cap sector in 2014, after a “very good run” in 2012-2013, says AXA Wealth head of investing […]

barclays-building-2012-700x450.jpg
13

‘We all die together’: Why Barclays was handed record FCA fine

Barclays’ traders used “exclusive” chat rooms to manipulate foreign exchange rates in their favour. The bank was today fined a total of £1.5bn by UK and US regulators, including a record £284m fine from the FCA. Details published in the FCA final notice reveal traders formed tight-knit groups through chat rooms, entry to which was […]

Tony Wickenden: Pensions pass the tax test

I started my look at “new world” retirement income planning last week. I referenced in that article the importance of taking a wide ranging “all assets” approach to designing a tax efficient strategy to anticipate and deal with the following risks: volatility, inflation, legacy and flexibility. It seems a multi-faceted solution is becoming the strategy […]

Time to stop the salami slicing on tax relief

Steve Webb  – Director of Policy and External Communications As the Autumn Statement approaches, Steve Webb calls for the Government to stop tinkering with tax relief. Twice a year, in the run-up to the Spring Budget and the Autumn Statement, we face a torrent of speculation as to what changes the Chancellor might make to […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

    Leave a comment