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The state of the nation&#39s savings

The body renowned for checking that the Chancellor gets his sums correct -the Institute for Fiscal Studies is to launch a huge rolling survey of the British public&#39s levels of pensions,savings and home ownership.

The survey every two years, which will cover 13,000 people, could well become a sort of national fact-find. With a meaningful benchmark for wealth, it may just be possible to give a sensible answer to the question where we stand at present and where we want to end up.

Bringing housing into the equation is particularly important as, rightly or wrongly, this is an increasing part of people&#39s investment and pension planning.

Too often in the past, pensions, in particular, have become a party political football, as the recent struggles over annuities reveal, while the way that providers and advisers, Government and consumer groups communicate leaves a lot to be desired.

The fact that the last two retail pension reforms – the personal pension and the stakeholder pension – managed to be misdesigned to varying degrees should really lead to soul-searching by all concerned.

Now it appears that another pension reform and a radical shake-up of with-profits versus mutual funds is planned to add to the revolution on the advice side.

The survey may help establish some hard numbers on just how all this fits together in terms of what it means for people&#39s pockets. In a few years time, it could even allow Government and its gang of reviewers to see if they have got it right. It is just a shame it wasn&#39t done five or even 10 years ago.


Duncan Smith attacks Chancellor for failure to act on pensions

Iain Duncan Smith has accused the Chancellor of being opposed to savings and pensions, branding stakeholder a failure and criticising the Government for not tackling annuity reform.In a speech answering Gordon Brown&#39s budget speech, Iain Duncan Smith said that the Government&#39s flagship pension has failed to reach its target audience.The Government said it was concerned […]

Halifax picked for new government savings initiative

The Treasury has selected the Halifax to pilot its Savings Gateway initiative during a two and a half year trial period. The announcement, included in the documents accompanying the budget, means that from August, the high street bank will be the sole provider of one of the Treasury&#39s key initiatives to motivate lower earners to […]

Providers dismiss Brown stance on PMI

Chancellor Gordon Brown has ruled out a role for private medical insurers in the provision of health care, saying the way forward for the NHS is by funding through general taxation. In his budget speech, Brown said the Government was committed to a free at point of use, publicly funded NHS rather than alternative funding […]

Mortgage Express three-year fixed

Mortgage Express three-year fixedFixed term: 3 June 2005Fixed rate: 5.99%Minimum loan: £40,000Maximum loan: £250,000 up to 105% LTV Income multiples: 3.25 x principal plus 1, 2.75 x jointArrangement fee: £325Redemption fee: Six months&#39 interest at fixed rate until 3 June 2005Conditions: 102% LTV limit for first-time buyers. Available through Pink Home LoansIntroducer&#39s fee: 0.3%Tel: 01543 […]

Can you put a hat on?

By Sarah Scott, marketing consultant You might think the question in the title is a strange one. Perhaps even more so when you learn that it’s one of several asked as part of an assessment for Employment Support Allowance eligibility in the opening scenes of the 2016 film, ‘I, Daniel Blake’. Daniel is a carpenter […]


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