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Ritchie warning on A-Day delays

Scottish Equitable pensions development director Stewart Ritchie has described the Chancellor&#39s referral of the lifetime pension limit to the National Audit Office as bizarre but says advisers must still start planning for A-Day.

Even though the final pension simplification rules will not be revealed until Budget day on March 17, Ritchie says advisers must start notifying clients about issues that could affect them.

He says it is not only high-earners who face urgent decisions but those who could secure better tax-free cash.

High earners who either hit or are approaching the lifetime limit will have to deal with the issue of whether they choose primary or enhanced protection of their pre-A-day pension.

Ritchie says: “In one of the most bizarre episodes in my 31 years in pensions, the Chancellor has referred certain aspects of the £1.4m lifetime allowance to the National Audio Office with the implication that, if the wrong answers are given, then simplification will not go ahead.

“The practical implication is that we will have to start planning now but we cannot implement these plans until after Budget day. There is an outside chance this planning work will be wasted but, if we defer doing it until after Budget day, we put pressure on ourselves in the run-up to A-Day.”

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