SNP calls for independent pensions commission to monitor freedoms

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The Scottish National Party has called for a new independent commission to investigate actions taken by savers since the launch of the pension freedoms.

Responding to data from the FCA which shows two-thirds of savers accessing their savings fully cashed out their pension, the SNP says a commission should act to investigate whether the freedoms are leaving retirees facing hardship in later life.

In particular, SNP pensions spokesman Ian Blackford MP cites concerns the FCA figures showed half of those accessing their pensions from age 55 did so to provide themselves with an income.

He says: “The Tories need to act now to increase awareness of the effects emptying a pension pot early can have on later life – those approaching retirement age or those who have already retired should not view their pension as a cash machine but as a guaranteed income for when they are elderly.

“The SNP has called on the Government to set up an independent pensions commission to investigate the impact of all these changes.”

It comes a day after SNP MP Mhairi Black led a debate in the House of Commons on Government measures to support women following increases to their retirement age accelerated by the Coalition in 2011.