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Time right for annuities review, says McDonald

The Retirement Income Reform Campaign called on the Government to announce a consultation on annuities reform in a meeting with Treasury economic secretary Ruth Kelly this week.

RIRC director Dr Oonagh McDonald and Sir Nicholas Goodison told Kelly they believed the time was right for a formal review and consultation process.

RIRC formally submitted to the Government a taxation position paper it claims add-resses Treasury concerns that annuity reform would lead to unsustainable tax leakage and be used as a way of avoiding inheritance tax.

The paper proposes a double tax regime submitting all pension fund transfers on death to a tax exit charge as well as to inheritance tax and suggests a review of the maximum amount of higher-rate tax relief an individual can receive in any one year.

McDonald says Kelly had been receptive to the proposals and she welcomed the minister&#39s comments that the RIRC and the Government shared the same outlook on the annuities issue. McDonald says: “I very much hope that we now have the basis for a constructive pathway to reform and believe that the time is right to launch a formal review and consultation process.”

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