From the TUC

Tim Sharp's Articles

Our pensions are still leaving many behind

01 Mar 2016, by in Pensions & Investment

The respected Pensions Policy Institute is today publishing a report, sponsored by the TUC and others, looking at those groups who remain under-pensioned. It shows that despite the remarkable success of automatic enrolment in bringing around six million more people into workplace pensions, those who have been traditionally badly served by the pensions system are still…

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Regulator fears pension freedom mis-selling

25 Feb 2016, by in Pensions & Investment

There was always a remarkable haziness about what the pension freedom reforms announced in Budget 2014 were meant to achieve. While most government pension initiatives are designed at improving incomes in retirement or making savings more secure, George Osborne’s revolution offered freedom and choice for its own sake. There was seemingly little regard for the…

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Freedom, fairness and a TUC pensions conference

08 Jan 2016, by in Pensions & Investment

Savers in their mid-to-late 50s are the group making the highest level of withdrawals from their pension pots, according to the latest figures from the financial regulator. While it is very early days for so-called Pensions Freedom – the government’s great experiment with UK savings – there are worrying signs. Savers in Defined Contribution pension schecmes…

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The State Pension muddle and 1950s women

05 Jan 2016, by in Pensions & Investment

On Thursday, Mhairi Black, the youngest MP in Parliament, will do her bit for intergenerational solidarity by opening a House of Commons debate on State Pension age changes. A long-simmering row over the impact on women born in the 1950s of a combination of State Pension Age equalisation with men, and increased State Pension Age for…

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Pension costs – Inertia rules

17 Dec 2015, by in Pensions & Investment

One of the challenges in participating in the long-running debate about the level of costs and charges levied on pensions is the risk of getting all Rumsfeldian. If we do not know what charges and costs are being borne by scheme members and their impact on savers’ standards of living in retirement, it is hard to…

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The North/South divide in healthy old age

23 Sep 2015, by in Pensions & Investment

In 1979 pop singer Debbie Harry suggested her preferred life pattern was “Die Young, Stay Pretty”. Ms Harry, as part of the band Blondie, has blithely ignored her own advice and is pumping out records and touring more than three decades later. However, her focus on healthy life expectancy, rather than merely longevity is useful…

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Don’t you (forget about DB)

27 Jul 2015, by in Pensions & Investment

It is easy to overlook defined benefit (DB) pension schemes when so much of the talk in the pensions world is of cruises, conservatories and high-powered sports cars. But their central role in the retirement savings of millions of people and as a crucial underpinning for the ongoing automatic enrolment reforms means that protecting and…

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“Shoulda, woulda, coulda”: yet more evidence suggests income beats choice in retirement

14 Jul 2015, by in Pensions & Investment

Beverley Knight is a woman well aware of the consequences of poor decision-making. “Now ‘Shoulda, woulda, coulda’ means I’m out of time, “Coz ‘Shoulda, woulda, coulda’, can’t change your mind.” Inexplicably, popular music tends to gives more attention to matters of the heart than it does to retirement planning. So Ms Knight was in this case bemoaning the…

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