Government ‘could destroy pensions’, warns ex-minister

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06 Jan, 2017

Government ‘could destroy pensions’, warns ex-minister

Former pensions minister, Ros Altmann has accused the UK Government of putting pensions in grave danger after a new infographic released by the Treasury did not include them on ways to save for retirement.

The infographic starts off on the savings ‘pathway’ with the Child Trust Fund and Junior ISA. It then progresses to the Help to Buy ISA, the Lifetime ISA, Premium Bonds and ISAs.

However, Altmann states that at no point on the pathway does the guide mention pensions. Regarding retirement, the guide states: "The Lifetime ISA can also be used to save for retirement. From your 60th birthday you can take out the savings for any purpose".

Altmann took to twitter to voice her discontent saying: "HM Treasury should be ashamed of a public information campaign that fails to mention the best way to save for later life".

Altmann says that the problem stems from the amount of money pensions cost the Treasury in terms of tax relief. Due to their high expense (under former Chancellor George Osborne), the Treasury is attempting to mastermind a move away from pensions and towards ISAs as the nation’s primary savings vehicle. Altmann states that this overlooks the benefits of pensions entirely.

In response, the Treasury denied the document as being misleading, stating that the infographic is merely a snapshot of the options available, as opposed to an exhaustive list. However, experts remain unconvinced. Altman reiterates that to discuss ISAs ‘and other options’ without mentioning pensions is a disgrace. 

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