Tom Selby: Are the pension freedoms spiralling out of control?

Sustainability is key measure

clock • 3 min read

Does the Treasury's pension freedom tax windfall mean people are plundering their retirement pots? Either way, warns Tom Selby, without proper data, everyone is left analysing the social impact of the reforms blindfolded

When George Osborne talked about freeing retirees from the deathly grip of annuities in his 2014 Budget speech, it was clear the former Chancellor had two prime objectives. The first was shaking the branches of a lumbering insurance market that had for too long milked savers by shovelling them into guaranteed retirement income products. The weakness of the supply side meant the profit margins on annuity business were sky-high and, importantly, dividend-hungry shareholders needed feeding. The approach was relatively simple - pile ‘em high, sell ‘em expensive. The second, arguably more ...

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