Personal Pension  

Don’t let the Grinch steal your pension freedom: a poem

Don’t let the Grinch steal your pension freedom: a poem

It’s not long ‘til the tax year will come to an end,

But high in his castle of silver and gold,

Fumes a product director whose outlook is old,

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He’s the Grinch who’s forgotten an important fact,

That this ditty will try to remind him with tact.

The customer’s king for old age that’s a hit,

And the Budget gives freedom to pick what will fit,

For the saver the changes are a cause of much strife,

As the choices they make here are taken for life.

If they’re 55-plus and want to access their pot,

The rules will allow them to take out the lot,

But they need to consider the impact of tax,

Chargeable over the 25 per cent max.

Then there’s drawdown, avoiding annuity rate,

Or adding to income from jobs, that could be great,

They can balance the conflict of taxed and tax-free,

Against the old sureness of an annuity.

Having taken the trouble to save for their future,

Why do we think they’ll make a financial blooper,

The prudent won’t jump into expensive cars,

Or throw away money in their choice of wine-bars.

What’s rather more likely to cause them to crash,

Are companies with offers to buy pensions for cash,

Who will try to exploit the new freedoms for gain,

Creating mistrust and mis-selling again.

It’s true that changes to our regulation,

Risk delivery failures and poor implementation,

Auto-enrolment, charge caps and A-Day,

Are some of the things for which we’ve had to pay.

But the industry’s getting quite good at these changes,

And complex legal demand no longer deranges,

As long as it’s final, with guidance in place,

Industry has a chance of avoiding disgrace.

The advice versus guidance debate isn’t cool,

The exception to clarity proving the rule,

But forgetting the customer’s position as king,

Is an error, if made, that leads to only one thing.

A key proposition that meets no-one’s needs,

Not the saver’s, the regulator’s, nor government’s deeds,

The simple requirement providers supply,

Is a method to make all the changes apply.

Using experts and history which prepare us to make,

Clear customer info on the decisions to take,

To create and preserve as much value for all,

As George Osborne envisioned when making the call.

To announce his announcement in the Budget speech,

And aim for a target not too tricky to reach,

We’ve got a new way to work, save and retire,

That freedom of access and our needs inspire.

Should the Grinch fail to note who rules in this space,

Or lack skill, or the will, or desire to keep pace,

He’ll lose silver and gold and his customer base,