How Labour and the Conservatives compare on pension policy

14th April 2015


As the main parties launch their manifestos for the General Election, Hargreaves Lansdown sets out the main pension policies under a future Conservative or Labour government….

Conservative pension plans

Tom McPhail, head of pensions research at Hargreaves Lansdown, says: “After all the seismic changes to pension policy in recent years, including Auto-enrolment, the pension freedoms and the impending reform of the state pension, a period of stability would be the best thing any politician could do for pensions. Whilst the guarantees around pensioner benefits will be welcome, any changes to tax relief rates, particularly when announced simply to pay for another policy elsewhere are likely to undermine investors’ confidence in the stability of our pension system.

“The Conservatives are not alone in their plans to change the tax relief rules, it is something Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the SNP have all talked about. Our concern is that any changes of this nature should be part of a considered savings policy,” he says.

 Labour pension plans

McPhail says: “Reading between the lines, there are clear messages for pensioners, for pension investors and for the pensions industry. Your pensioner benefits are safe, unless you are a wealthy pensioner; if you are a wealthy worker then it makes sense to make the most of the pension tax breaks currently available while you still can; and the pensions industry is on notice that it better be giving investors a fair deal.”


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