Some friendly fire for the Chancellor on pensions tax relief or something more revealing?

Sometimes a question can provide more insight than the answer. If you doubt me, take a look at this recent Parliamentary exchange recorded in Hansard. “Richard Graham (Gloucester) (Con): The coalition Government freed pensioners from mandatory annuities and encouraged saving … Read More

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We need joined up thinking on pensions so an independent commission still makes sense

This week the Minister for Pensions signalled a pause – or possible retreat from – the pension auto-enrolment transfer process known as “pot follows member”. The reason advanced to support this decision was the sheer weight of other change in … Read More

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Why the NHS deficit could be the killer blow for pension tax reliefs

It emerged last week that the NHS is in deep financial trouble. Whilst this state of affairs has been widely predicted in the medium term, the reports last week highlighted the increased pace and depth of the problem.  In the first … Read More

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“But don’t the pension freedoms just undo all the benefits of auto-enrolment?”

It should be explained that the above comment did not arise from myself. Nor did it arise from a pensions specialist, industry commentator, or journalist. No, this comment arose from an ordinary middle-manager in an everyday SME (small or medium … Read More

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Should employers be forced by government to support employees’ days of volunteering work?

In July I publicly stated my considered view of the employee benefits legislative landscape at the end of the government’s term in 2020. In shortened form, my summary was as follows: -          More employer costs -          Fewer tax reliefs -          … Read More

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The problem with pensions being somebody else’s problem

Winston Churchill once said ““Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others that have been tried.” The great man was – and is – correct in saying that our political system is probably the best of … Read More

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A spoonful of sugar for the new pension minister

The new Minister for Pensions, Ros Altmann, will have her hands full over the next few months as she catches up with the huge levels of legislative change that are already in train in the pensions space.  Dr Altmann could … Read More

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Putting the independent in the Pensions Commission

The Conservatives have unveiled plans to appoint Ros Altmann in a new Ministerial post after the next election (should they win).  The role is to be that of Minister for Consumer Protection and Financial Education. It’s undeniably good news that … Read More

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An independent pension commission can only be a good thing for the future of pensions

It’s not often that I am able to write an entirely positive article relating to a Westminster missive on the topic of pensions.  Yet this is one such occasion. For I was delighted to see the following statement included in … Read More

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What employers may need to look out for if the lifetime allowance is cut again

Although we won’t know for certain until after this morning’s Budget speech has been delivered, leaked reports yesterday suggested that the Pensions Lifetime Allowance for savings is set to decrease once again. For those not immediately familiar with the Lifetime … Read More

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