Morning papers: PM pressured over pension fees cap delay

Shadow work and pensions secretary Rachel Reeves has written to the prime minister asking whether the government has abandoned plans to cap “excessive” pension fees and charges, the Financial Times reports.

In her letter, the Labour MP said savers expect the government to “put their needs first” and take action to protect them from “rip-off” fees.

She urged David Cameron to clarify whether the government was considering abandoning the plans for a cap altogether.

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Ms Reeves also asked whether Mr Cameron would commit to a cap on fees before the 2015 election, following pensions minister Steve Webb’s announcement last month that the cap, which had been intended to be implemented this April, would not be introduced until April 2015 at the earliest.

Insurers’ bosses summoned to Number 10

Chief executives from insurance companies including Aviva, Direct Line and Axa have been summoned to Number 10 today to discuss their response to the floods, the Telegraph reports.

The paper says prime minister David Cameron will demand the insurers demonstrate how they are helping people affected by floods as quickly as possible.

This includes swiftly processing claims, and making sure equipment such as dehumidifiers is provided promptly.

Insurers have already paid out £14m in emergency insurance payments and £24m to pay for temporary accommodation, the Association of British Insurers said.

Inflation to fall below 2 per cent

Inflation could dip below the Bank of England’s target of 2 per cent for the first time since November 2009, The Guardian reports.

The paper says economists agree that official figures will probably reveal a fall in the consumer price index to 1.9 per cent for last month, down from 2 per cent in December.

Some have gone so far as to predict inflation falling below 1 per cent later this year, the Guardian said.

Rich Britons ignorant of IHT threshold

More than half of survey respondents said they did not know that the current inheritance tax threshold is £325,000, the Daily Mail reports.

Only 47 per cent knew the correct threshold while another 14 per cent incorrectly thought it to be half a million pounds.

The people who took part in the research all have assets worth more than £325,000, placing them beyond the IHT threshold.

Someone who leaves behind £500,000 and could not use the allowance to transfer it to a spouse would leave their family owing £70,000 to the government, according to the paper.

China drains $7.9bn from money markets

China’s central bank has drained Rmb48bn ($7.9bn) from money markets in a move signalling its concern with the boom in lending at the start of the year, the Financial Times reports.

The FT says the People’s Bank of China withdrew the cash by issuing 14-day bond repurchase agreements, its first time using them to drain liquidity from the money market in eight months.

It issued the agreements without the usual day’s warning to banks, traders told the paper.