We are the voice of insurance and long-term savings | Contact us

ABI publishes its response to HM Treasurys Freedom and choice in pensions consultation

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has today published its response to HM Treasury’s consultation ‘Freedom and choice in pensions’.

The ABI's submission stresses the key areas on which the Government should focus:

  • Developing a retirement income framework that will meet the vastly different requirements of current and future workforces is one of the most important policy challenges of our generation.
  • To address this challenge, we need as fundamental an approach as the Turner Commission took towards workplace pension savings, and the Budget delivers such a change.
  • For April 2015 the guidance guarantee should be delivered through existing guidance services such as the Money Advice Service (MAS), The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) and Citizens Advice. As the scope of the guidance guarantee is established, and the content and standards become clear, Government and FCA should continue to review the role of providers and utilities, and whether providers and others with a commercial interest can deliver the guidance guarantee themselves in a genuinely impartial way.
  • Decisions on what the Guidance Guarantee is and who should deliver it with a roadmap for delivery must be published by HMT by end July.
  • We want to ensure that the tax rules in place after April 2015 strike the right balance of creating a simple and flexible framework while also providing the right protections to customers.
  • The new rules must uphold the current tax relief framework for consumers, including the 25% tax-free pension commencement lump sum.
  • We support the proposal to increase the age at which individuals can take their private pension savings from age 55 to 57 by 2028.
  • Members of DB schemes currently have the right to transfer their benefits to a DC scheme, and this right must be retained. But to protect consumers, we recommend that conditions should be placed on the right to transfer, including a requirement for those wishing to transfer to take regulated financial advice.
  • Clarity on all key legislative and regulatory changes is needed at least six months prior to the effective date of April 2015.

For more information, see:

Last updated 01/07/2016