Portafina asks new chancellor for calm around pensions

Too many changes undermine simplicity.

Meditation

“Following Theresa May moving into Number 10, Phillip Hammond has now replaced George Osborne, but with much speculation as to what his plans are, the future for pensions looks uncertain.

George Osborne will always be remembered as the chancellor who introduced the pension freedoms. Although they were widely celebrated, as the United Kingdom welcomes its first new chancellor in six years, what the industry needs now is a period of calm and stability.

Pensions simplification was introduced in 2006, and while the 2015 freedoms built upon that, we have also seen a great deal of change in a short space of time:

The pension freedoms have been available for over a year, the new State Pension has just taken effect, the secondary annuity market has been given a start date, auto-enrolment is still rolling out and both the lifetime and annual allowances have been reduced. It has been a lot for the British public to get their heads round!

With Osborne no longer in control of the public purse, hopefully we will see a more measured approach to pension changes. In particular, I would like to see more emphasis on education around the benefits of the existing pension system works, and for the idea of a ‘pensions ISA’ to be scrapped.

Our priority needs to be communicating the benefit of pensions, which is only made harder when governments continually move the goalposts.”

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