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Report berates Govt on pensions

The Government&#39s pension policy has been described as “flawed” and failing to eliminate pensioner poverty in a damning report by leading thinktank the Institute for Public Policy Research.

The report, co-sponsored by CIS, calls for the state second pension and the pension credit to be abolished in fav-our of increasing the basic state pension to the level of the minimum income guarantee, currently £100 a week, and recommends that the retirement age should be raised to 67.

The thinktank also attacks Government policy since 1997, saying it has increased the need for good quality advice while at the same time making advice more difficult to provide.

The report says the Government&#39s “policy framework which relies heavily on meanstested retirement benefits is flawed”. The IPPR says this is not working for poor pensioners or for people planning for retirement and that the pension credit will not incentivise saving.

It believes that raising the basic state pension and scrapping Serps, S2P and pension credits would be more beneficial “for people in poverty and for the working poor who will no longer be penalised for their thrift”.

CIS general manager (life and compliance) Mike Fair-bairn says: “Consumers need to be clear about what to exp-ect from the Government. Only when a state solution is achieved and understood will individuals appreciate that the risk of not saving is far higher than the risk of saving.”

•Age Concern report, p10


Axe hangs over appointed actuaries in FSA WP review

The life office role of appoin-ted actuary could soon be scrapped as part of proposals in the FSA&#39s review into with-profits.In the FSA&#39s fifth and final paper on with profits, it proposes appointing policyholders to life office boards and creating a with-profits fund committee.The paper, entitled Gov-ernance of With-Profits Funds and the Future Role of […]

HSA and Leeds Hospital Fund to merge

Healthcare cash plan providers HSA and Leeds Hospital Fund are merging to form a combined operation controlling 45 per cent of the sector.HSA has 37 per cent of the cash plan market, primarily in London and the South-east, while LHF has a strong brand presence in the North, with about 7 per cent share.Despite their […]

Property prices boosted by low mortgage rates

House prices jumped by 1.6 per cent in February from the previous month, with the average house price now £94,965, according to figures from Nationwide.It says the propoerty market is showing no evidence of slowing down and price growth is being driven by rising prices in the regions outside London, such as the South-west, East […]

Inside edge – Peter Dornan

The fast-growing protection market is an example of an area where advice can be immensely valuable to consumers.One of the most significant market trends during 2001 was the rush of providers seeking to gain a foothold in the market for protection products. Dismissed by some industry commentators as a last-gasp attempt by life insurers to […]

Tapering of annual allowance – adjusted and threshold income

The definitions of adjusted income and threshold income used to determine whether, and to what extent, someone’s annual allowance will be reduced can be confusing.  Here we try to make sense of it all. The annual allowance will be reduced for high income individuals from 6 April 2016.  Our previous article Tapering of annual allowance […]


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