Independent pensions expert Dr Ros Altmann has been appointed director general of the Saga Group.
Altmann, who previously worked on pensions policy issues with Tony Blair’s Number 10 Policy Unit, says she has taken the role in an attempt “to help improve the lives of the over-50’s”. She will take up the newly created role next month.
She says: “I want to help change the way society perceives age. People are living much longer, healthier lives, but social norms have not kept up. We need better financial education, help with financial planning, part-time work instead of full-time retirement and a strong voice to represent the over-50s in the policy debate – for those coming up to retirement, as well as pensioners.”
Altmann was previously head of equities at Chase Manhattan’s International Investment Operation in London, and was director at Rothschild Asset Management and at NatWest Investment Management. She is also a governor of the Pensions Policy Institute, a trustee of the Age Employment Network and a member of the Lord Chancellor’s Strategic Investment Board.
She says: “The over-50s have genuine worries. They tend to be the silent majority, proud, self-reliant, wanting to know how to cope with the challenges of the second half of their lives and being able to look forward to more leisure time.
“But they have seen pensions shrink or even evaporate in recent years, their savings interest has all but disappeared, financial companies have taken advantage of them and they face discrimination in the labour force.
“I will listen to their concerns and try to reflect them to policymakers. As the baby boomers come up to retirement, we cannot go on as we are. I want to help and, with the backing of the Saga Group and its loyal customer base, hope to make a difference in the coming years.”