Altmann orders providers to ‘produce new products’

Altmann orders providers to ‘produce new products’

The pensions minister said the pension freedoms introduced by the coalition government were “brilliant” but stated we need more new retirement income products and services.

Her comments came after last July the Financial Conduct Authority found 18 per cent of all pension providers and 50 per cent of the largest 15 firms stated that they were planning to develop further retirement income options.

According to the FCA the range of products in development at that time included flexi-access drawdown, partial designation/phased drawdown, UFPLS, third way products, fixed term, with-profits and long-term care annuities.

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Speaking at FTAdviser’s Retirement Freedoms Forum this afternoon (2 March) Baroness Altmann said: “The industry needs to wake-up. This is a real opportunity for new products and services.

“I am calling on the pensions industry to introduce more new approaches and make their products more engaging.”

Her speech came after Yvonne Braun, director of long-term savings at the ABI, told advisers gathered at FTAdviser’s Retirement Freedom Forum that plans for a new Pensions Isa were a bad idea.

Last year the government launched a consultation paper to see if a Pension Isa would encourage more people to save for retirement.

Following Ms Braun’s speech, more than 130 advisers gathered at the event at the Mayfair Hotel stated they also do not want to see a Pension Isa introduced in this month’s Budget.

Baroness Altmann also used her speech to renew the government’s pledge to ban “unfair” early exit charges from pensions.

At the start of this year HM Treasury confirmed it would introduce curbs on excessive pension exit penalties.

Chancellor George Osborne outlined proposals to place a duty on the Financial Conduct Authority to cap excessive early exit charges for those eligible to access the pension freedoms.