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Twin threats to flat-rate state pension

Fears are growing that the Government will water down its state pension reforms as DWP and Treasury officials continue to grapple with the cost and complexity of introducing a flat-rate benefit.

In December, Money Marketing revealed the Department for Work and Pensions had been forced to delay its green paper on the introduction of a universal state pension for future retirees.

It is understood that officials were attempting to resolve how to treat people who have accumulated contracted-out benefits in Serps and the state second pension.

In a subsequent interview with Money Marketing earlier this month, pensions minister Steve Webb confirmed officials in Whitehall are considering “a number of options” for state pension simplification. He insisted no final decision has been made.

Barnett Waddingham partner Malcolm McLean says: “For the life of me, I do not know how they are going to deal with people’s accrued rights to Serps and S2P.

They have got themselves in a bit of a corner on this one. My worry is that they will produce a watered-down green paper that is full of questions without anything actually being proposed.”

Legal & General pensions strategy director Adrian Boulding believes introducing a universal state pension is “mired in costs”. He says: “It has got to be a super long-term ambition because in the short term the finances will be very challenging. I think it can be done but the main problem is cost.”


LV= will launch flexible drawdown product in April

LV= has confirmed it will be ready to offer capped and flexible drawdown in April. In December, the Treasury confirmed details of proposals that will remove the requirement to buy an annuity at age 75. The new capped and flexible drawdown regime will go ahead from April 6 despite strong opposition from pension firms, which […]

Jelf appoints Laverick as managing director

Jelf Financial Planning has appointed former AWD Chase de Vere head of business development Martyn Laverick as managing director. Jelf says Laverick (pictured) will lead the business and report directly to chief executive Alex Alway. He will also choose the firm’s lead platform. Laverick says: “My goal is to raise awareness of the proposition and […]


Mortgage broker sues FSA for libel

Mortgage broker Adam Lucas is suing the FSA for libel after the regulator published a decision notice which cancelled his permissions to operate as a broker. The decision notice was issued because the FSA claims Lucas failed to pay £1,349.41 in fees. However Lucas contends that the FSA did not attempt to contact him using […]

Towergate secures £200m private equity investment

Private equity firm Advent International is to make a £200m investment into insurance intermediary Towergate Partnership. The deal was tipped at the beginning of the year. It is conditional on Towergate raising new debt facilities through the bank and bond markets. The £200m investment and the debt capital raising is expected to be in mid-February. […]


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