Lovely, Jubbly – pension’s freedoms brings opportunity for the Del Boys

October 24, 2014 Tom Murray

Pensions UK guidance pension freedom del boy

The current spate of pension reform is posited on the idea that pension money is the saver’s own money and that therefore they should be entitled to do what they like with it. However, the ageing population means that supporting people through their old age will become ruinously expensive for the country by the middle of this century. The fact that government is pushing people to save for this very specific reason is being completely ignored in the desire to please the grey vote by giving them full control over their savings.
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The FCA should apologise to Pension Providers and IFAs

October 17, 2014 Tom Murray

Pensions UK pension provider trade magazines pension freedom

For the last decade, the FSA, and latterly its reincarnation as the FCA, have lambasted pension providers and the financial advisers that recommend their products. The FCA have criticised their work and insinuated that the IFAs and providers are ripping consumers off and need huge amounts of regulation to prevent them from essentially robbing the consumers.
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Should a pension be renamed severance pay?

October 16, 2014 Tom Murray

Pensions UK rip-off Life and Pensions defined benefit scheme

What is a pension? Up to the end of 2013, most of us would have defined it as a regular payment that is made to a retiree for the duration of his or her retirement. It’s worth remembering that because the latest pension reforms, introduced by the Chancellor, and apparently amended on a daily basis, are taking the whole idea of pensions in a completely different direction.
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Taxpayer being steamrollered by pension electoral tactics

October 07, 2014 Tom Murray

Pensions UK tax relief Death tax Life and Pensions

Why have the government decided to distort the tax system by making pensions capable of being used as a device to avoid inheritance tax? The casual approach of the Treasury to pension strategy, with sudden announcements of ill-considered changes, shows a lack of coherent thinking behind the changes in the pension system. This has led to a lot of post-facto explanation and justification to try to cover up the lack of thought prior to the announcement.
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Latest pension changes undermine the case for pension tax relief

September 29, 2014 Tom Murray

UKIP Pensions UK tax relief Osborne

The Conservative Party has been heartened to hear that the Chancellor is responding to the attacks from UKIP with a straightforward appeal to the grey vote. He will announce to the party conference today that he is changing the tax rules that apply to income drawdown pots post the death of the pensioner; the so-called death tax that applies to the family who cash in the pension fund. From now on, this will only be taxed at the marginal rate, if the pensioner is over 75 when he dies and will not be taxed at all if the pensioner dies before that age.
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Actuarial Post: Technology can enable anything – including disaster

September 25, 2014 Tom Murray

UK UFPLS software D2C Life and Pensions

This article was originally commissioned for the August edition of the Actuarial Post.
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Drawdown publicity campaign needed

September 18, 2014 Tom Murray

Pensions UK understanding survey Admin Plus

Now that the Chancellor’s reforms have put annuities firmly in the doghouse, the question is what type of product is likely to be the most popular among those about to retire. The general industry mood reflected in the financial press seems to lean towards income drawdown style products as being the most likely selection for those who don’t want to buy an annuity.
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The Chancellor’s sophistry on pension reform is dangerous

July 22, 2014 Tom Murray

Pensions UK Life and Pensions longevity insurance regulation

Chancellor George Osborne was dismissive of the critics of his Budget 2014 pension reforms in an interview with the BBC this week. “It’s not my money, it’s not your money… We have to get away from the patronising view that the state knows best”.
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Guidance issue is key to pension reform success

July 17, 2014 Tom Murray

lump sum decumulation Pensions UK superannuation

Compared to most other countries, the decumulation sector in the UK is very sophisticated. A wide variety of decumulation options are in place to deal with longevity risk. The danger of outliving your money is the most severe risk faced by the public because when it impacts, the individual is too old to return to income generating activities to compensate. So the availability of conventional annuities, flexible income annuities, deferred annuities and enhanced annuities along with myriad drawdown products optimises the choice for retirees so that they can get suitable financial products for their particular circumstances.
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Government is ignoring longevity risk with pension reform

July 08, 2014 Tom Murray

annuitisation Pensions UK policy Life and Pensions

The OECD has made a diplomatic intervention to critique mildly the UK government’s abolition of the annuitisation rules for pensions. One does not have to be Sherlock Holmes to spot the clues that reveal that the OECD is actually aghast at the extent of the change. This policy runs against the policy they have been steering their members towards by allowing the population to avoid the longevity insurance provided by annuities and choose instead to take cash lump sums.
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