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Welfare Reform on the Web (August 1999): Pensions - UK

CALL TO ABANDON RETIREMENT ANNUITY

J. Mackintosh

Financial Times, April 20th 1999, p. 11

Reports a call by a former director of the Financial Services Authority for the requirement to buy an annuity on retirement to be scrapped. Instead, savers should be handed the contents of their personal pension funds as a tax free lump sum.

EMPLOYERS CRITICISE STAKEHOLDER PENSION PLANS

N. Timmins

Financial Times, April 19th 1999, p.12

The Confederation of British Industry has criticised a key element of the government's pension reforms by saying it was 'unreasonable' and 'unacceptable' to require employers to nominate a stakeholder pension for their employees.

FIELD WARNS ON PENSIONS REFORM

N. Timmins

Financial Times, April 20th 1999, p.11

Frank Field argues in his response to the government's green paper on pensions that the proposals could damage existing occupational schemes, while the 'unfulfillable commitment' to raise the new minimum pension guarantee in line with earnings rather than prices would provide powerful incentives for many people on low earnings not to save.

FUNDS CALL FOR SIMPLICITY IN PENSION 'JUNGLE'

N. Timmins

Financial Times, April 12th 1999, p. 8

The Association of Unit Trusts and Investment Funds, says in its response to the pensions green paper that the government must permit alternatives to trustees as a form of governance for its new stakeholder pensions, and should allow these to be held alongside other pension savings.

GOVERNMENT TO SPELL OUT PENSION REFORM DETAILS

N. Timmins

Financial Times, April 27th 1999, p11

The government is to launch a second round of consultation or its pension reform proposals, which have been almost universally accepted as a step in the right direction. The new round of consultation will look at minimum standards for stakeholder pensions, including charges, alternative governance to trustees for stakeholder pensions, the provision of advice, employer access, the regulatory regime, the tax regime around pensions and rebates, and the potential for a clearing house to help run the system.

MPs SET TO PROBE PENSIONS BLUNDER

N. Timmins

Financial Times, April 23rd 1999, p. 10

Reports that the, Commons Social Security Committee is set to investigate the 'Serps misselling scandal' after government figures revealed that delaying for a decade a change that would halve widows' benefits from next year would cost £5.6bn up to 2010.

WARNING ON STAKEHOLDER COSTS

A. Bolger

Financial Times, April 12th 1999, p. 8

Most life assurance companies will be unable to make money from the proposed stakeholder scheme without radically reducing their cost base. In theory, this could be achieved by simplifying the products so as to make salesmen and independent financial advisors redundant.

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