Chancellor George Osborne left pensions tax relief alone, introduced a flat-rate state pension and gave a nod to the white paper on long-term care. But what do industry figures think?
Andrew Roberts, chairman of Association of Member Directed Pension Schemes (AMPS):
"It was quiet on the pension front. I think most of the industry hoped there wouldn't be any more tinkering and we could have a period of stability in terms of annual allowances, tax relief and tax-free lump sums. Both the industry and consumers prefer long-term are frustrated by continual changing of the rules so a big thumbs up from me. "
Ian Hammond, managing director at Rowanmoor Pensions:
"Whilst the Chancellor is obviously a man under pressure to raise the Government's pot of available cash, he has realised that the future retirement health of the population cannot be put at risk any further and rather than being put off investing in pensions, people need to be encouraged to do so. Mr Osborne has shown he doesn't want to risk rocking the pensions boat any further.
"All in all today has been good news for the industry, something that was desperately needed to re-establish people's faith in the pensions system."
Peter Welch, head of sales and distribution at Bridgewater Equity Release:
"We will need some time to digest the detail, but at first sight the retired seem to be one of the groups to lose out from the Budget.
"The introduction of an auto-increase in state retirement age with expected longevity, the move to a single-tier pension and the removal of age-related tax allowances are changes that will not benefit the majority of pensioners.
"More and more people will need to consider using their housing equity to maintain a comfortable standard of living in retirement. Increasingly in the future we may see that those who can't - or choose not to - work right up to state pension age may need to release equity to tide them over until they reach that point."
David Trenner, technical director at Intelligent Pensions:
"The reintroduction of ‘undated' gilts, or as Mr Osborne called them ‘perpetual gilts', must make sense as more people live longer in retirement. Annuity providers will welcome the availability of guaranteed yields that enable them to match their liabilities to pay pensions for more than 50 years."
But Trenner felt the increased flat rate of pension of £140 per week was "all talk and no action. Since the universal pension was first raised its value has fallen by more than £15 a week because of inflation, and further delay will see further erosion."
Andrea Rozario, director general at Safe Home Income Plans (SHIP):
"We believe that the freezing of the age related allowance is an unfair further blow to older people when they are already dealing with the triple whammy of historically low interest rates and annuity rates and depleted pension funds. For everyone in retirement and especially those approaching it, it means that they can expect to receive less than before and may have to consider using other assets - such as their home - to fill this income gap.
"We welcome the Government's move to review the State Pensions Age, bringing it in line with longevity. With people living longer than ever before it is important that retirement planning reflects this - the age at which one generation is able to claim the State Pension will not reflect the needs of future generations. In addition, the single-tier State Pension will help to simplify the system and reduce confusion about the level of support pensions can expect.
"However, it is important that people consider a whole raft of retirement planning options; the State Pension can provide a valuable boost to a retirement income, but it is unlikely to provide a sufficient amount to live off in itself. We urge the Government to do more to encourage people to plan their retirement finances as early as possible, and to work with the private sector to find solutions for funding our ageing population and a coherent communication strategy. By endorsing the solutions offered by the private sector and providing support for areas such as the equity release industry, they will relieve some of the burden on the State to support people in their old age
Caring for children and elderly relatives
Similar to June 2007
Square Mile’s series of informal interviews
Fine reduced to £60,000
Two roles created