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Steve Webb set for radio ‘soapbox’ tour as Govt scrambles to boost Budget awareness

Pensions minister Steve Webb will this week begin a radio “soapbox” tour as the Government scrambles to raise awareness of its radical reform programme before the general election.

The Liberal Democrat MP will take part in a series of radio phone-ins on pensions-related issues across the country ahead of the new Budget freedoms coming into force in April next year.

Webb will appear on BBC Radio 2’s ‘Jeremy Vine Show’ tomorrow before taking questions from listeners on radio stations serving Scotland, Manchester, Newcastle and Kent before Christmas. The Department for Work and Pensions says Webb will also appear on “dozens” of local stations in the New Year.

In addition, the DWP will be launching a “major” advertising campaign about the state pension reforms under the theme ‘Your Pension, Your Future’ this week. The Government has not yet disclosed how much will be spent on the campaign.

Webb says: “We are delivering some of the most radical reforms to our pensions system in a generation, introducing a clearer and fairer state pension and bringing in unprecedented flexibilities that give people the freedom to make their savings work for them.

“It’s only natural that people will have questions about what we’re doing, why we’re doing it and how it will affect them – and I want the chance to speak to as many of those people as possible.

“Politicians should be accessible and this is a great way for me to engage with people all over the country about pensions in a direct way.”

The Government’s awareness drive comes after Legal & General testing of the Budget “guidance guarantee” suggested take-up could be as low as 2.5 per cent. The Pensions Advisory Service, which will deliver telephone guidance, is assuming take-up will be around 25 per cent.

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There are 2 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. “We are delivering some of the most radical reforms to our pensions system in a generation, introducing a clearer and fairer state pension and bringing in unprecedented flexibilities that give people the freedom to make their savings work for them.

    Not sure that removing the ability to contract out, removing S2P accrual, and moving to a flat rate pension is actually fair to the majority of workers?

  2. I’m sure with Mr Webb getting on the soapbox the generation he is targeting is the young (under 35) who will not be able to rely on the state in the years to provide a comfortable retirement.
    Rather than talk on the Jeremy Vine show, and BBC regional station listeners whom have already prepared for retirement or have pension schemes
    May I suggest, that he gets in the soapbox on a Friday evening in the “hotspots” of the towns outlined and tells the younger generation to go home and forego their Friday night out and place their money in a pension arrangement instead.!

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