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Wells Street Journal: The Sunday Times’ Jekyll and Hyde approach to pension reform

For a publication that professes to be the country’s newspaper of record, The Sunday Times appears to be unable to make up its mind on George Osborne’s pensions freedoms.

It’s less than four months to the day when billions of pounds will be up for grabs, yet the paper is printing a dire warning one week  – “Could you be a casualty of the pensions revolution?” and cut-out-and-keep guides titled “once in a lifetime: the trips worth a pension splurge” the next.

In September, the paper warned bankrupt pensioners could lose their entire pots after April, while small business owners, divorcing couples and elderly “could also be hurt by the changes”.

But it seems the money pages didn’t pass the memo on to their colleagues across the office in the features section. In November, they presented a handy piece for pensioners aiming to “turn the grandchildren green with envy (and help them forget about their inheritance)”.

Ideas include a £3,800 ticket aboard the Orient-Express, a helicopter trip to the North Pole for the best part of £18,000 and rental of Ranguana Caye, a tropical island off the coast of Belize, a bargain at £23,800.

There’s no denying the quality of the suggestions (who’s to say the memory of a week of luxury won’t sustain you through a poverty stricken retirement?) but the editor might consider letting a psychiatrist sit in for the next news meeting before the schizophrenia gets out totally out of control.  

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(Another) downhill stroll — retirement planning

A report published this morning by the CIPD (CIPD Employee Outlook March 2015) provides yet more interesting data to the changing landscape of retirement planning. It should be remembered that we are in a period of genuine flux here given that the default retirement age was scrapped three years ago, and new pension freedoms come online in April. Both of these alterations will have a huge impact on how employees plan for their retirement.

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