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Steve Webb slows pace of small pot reforms

The Government has put the brakes on reforms to small pension pots after providers voiced concern about the potential risks of radical changes.

After a DWP consultation on consolidating pension pots last December, providers warned that a proposed “pot follows member” system could see people automatically switched into inappropriate schemes.

At the ABI conference this week, pensions minister Steve Webb said: “We will be publishing our consultation response on small pots shortly. It will not say what the answer is in fine detail but it will narrow down the reform options and indicate a direction of travel. I am impatient to get these reforms through fairly quickly but we have to get this right and get a structure in place that can make it work. There is still a question about whether we should focus just on auto-enrolment pots or the whole back book of legacy business.”

Webb also revealed the DWP is planning to measure the success of policy interventions and focus attention on those that have the biggest impact. He said: “We have started to project the outcome in retirement of each cohort of savers and look at how the different policy interventions are making a difference.”


Treasury waters down ICB banking proposals

The Treasury has watered down some Independent Commission on Banking recommendations which would have made UK banks hold more capital than limits that have been agreed globally. In a white paper on the Bank Reform Bill published today, the Government confirms it intends to push ahead with requiring banks to ringfence retail activities from riskier […]


ABI attacks pension charges ‘myth’

The Association of British Insurers says it is a “myth” that pension charges are putting people off saving for retirement. Providers have been subjected to a barrage of criticism over the impact charges have on the value of peoples’ pension pots. Speaking at the ABI pensions conference in London today, ABI director of life, savings […]


HMRC to get power to demand changes to tax arrangements

The Government has set out proposals for new powers to tackle “artificial and abusive” tax avoidance that would enable HMRC to require people to change their tax arrangements. The Treasury’s consultation paper on the General Anti-Avoidance Rule says the power is designed to counter tax arrangements the “main purpose or one of the main purposes” […]

Europe votes to ban bundled mortgages

European MPs have voted to ban mortgages that are tied to other products like savings accounts. Last week, ECON ­ the European Monetary and Economic Affairs committee ­ voted through a number of draft proposals on the directive. One of these stipulates that lenders will not be allowed to sell mortgage deals linked to savings […]

A tough start for 2017 consensus trades

By Kacper Brzezniak Every year, starting around November, investment banks (and fund managers) begin to drip out their outlooks for currencies, rates, economies, you name it, for the following year. The consensus has been largely wrong for the past four or five years; those multiple rate hikes never came, the bond market is still alive […]


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