Sunday, February 16, 2020

Petition Protesters Want Annuity Change In Budget 2018

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A pressure group wants Chancellor Phillip Hammond to cash in their poor-performing annuities as part of his Autumn Budget 2018.

Hammond is due to announce his Budget in Parliament on October 29.

Lobbyists Your Pension, Your Choice are calling on annuity holders to sign a petition supporting their fight to extend pension freedoms to the retirees.

Most of the 5 million annuity buyers were forced to invest their pension cash into an annuity before pension freedoms were introduced in 2015.

Unlike retirement savers who can access their pension at 55 to spend how they want; the annuity holders have a guaranteed fixed income for life.

Value for money fears

However, many have incomes of less than they expected because poor health was not considered, low interest rates or providers charging high fees for annuities.

Former Chancellor George Osborne pledged to set up a secondary market for annuities that would allow the buyers to cash in their contracts.

But the proposal was scrapped, leaving them locked into their deals.

The government withdrew the idea because they feared annuity holders would not get a good price for their policies.

At the time, Simon Kirby MP, then economic secretary to the Treasury, said the government could not “guarantee consumers will get good value for money in a market that is likely to be small and limited”.

Forgotten 5 million

A Your Pension, Your Choice spokesman said: “It has been encouraging to see the response of MPs to the campaign already, but the government needs to take action soon. We have set out in clear teams to the Chancellor that he must look at what the options are for extending pension freedoms to pre-2015 retirees.”

Annuity holders can join the protest through the Your Pension, Your Choice web site, where a petition calling for action is hosted.

“Journalists have received hundreds of letters from distraught readers in desperate need of funds – to cover everything from unexpected social care costs or house repairs to supporting their grandchildren. With no policy change on the horizon, they are trapped,” says the petition web site.

“We are campaigning to secure pension freedoms for the forgotten five million. The government must take action, changing the law to give all pensioners the right to access a lump sum of their annuity.”

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