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Guide to A-Day 10 years on

    Guide to A-Day 10 years on


    Kiss stood for Keep It Simple, Stupid, and countless commentators, newspapers and lobbyists were pressurising government to make pensions taxation simpler and create a fairer, more transparent pensions regime.

    The goal of A-Day was two-fold: achieve simplification of the various complicated pension tax regimes and seek to improve flexibility so more people could save for their future.

    That was 10 years ago, and when A-Day came into force on 6 April 2006, it was hailed as a big step towards keeping things simple and getting more people saving for retirement.

    What has happened since? According to the specialists whose opinions were canvassed for this guide, there have been too many changes and far more complication.

    Now, we have think-tanks such as the Centre for Policy Studies calling for a radical reform of the current pensions taxation system, branding the existing regime costly, outdated and unsustainable.

    We’ve been introduced to new retirement savings schemes such as auto-enrolment and the Lifetime Isa.

    Successive governments have tinkered around the edges with tax reform, reductions to allowances and changes to the state pension.

    As one of our contributors to this guide puts it: “A-Day’s ‘pension simplification’ has turned out to be the biggest oxymoron ever”.

    And the pensions gap - or the long-term savings gap - is still growing.

    This guide aims to examine what A-Day did achieve, assess why there is still a savings gap, consider the effects of workplace pensions, look at how A-Day boosted self-invested personal pensions, and discuss what more might be needed to help get clients saving enough for retirement.

    Contributors: Ian Price, divisional director, pensions and consultancy at St James’s Place Wealth Management; Mike Morrison, head of platform technical for AJ Bell; John Moret, founder of MoreToSipps; Mark Stopard, head of product development for Partnership; Neil MacGillivray, head of technical support at James Hay; Peter Bradshaw, national account director for Selectapension; Jacqui Reid, associate director for Sackers; Richard Parkin, head of pensions at Fidelity International; Kate Smith, head of pensions for Aegon; Alistair McQueen, retirement and pensions manager for Aviva; Jeff Steedman, head of Sipp and Ssas business development for Xafinity; and Ian Naismith, pensions expert at Scottish Widows.

    Supporting material provided by: the International Longevity Centre - London and Suffolk Life.

    In this guide


    Please answer the six multiple choice questions below in order to bank your CPD. Multiple attempts are available until all questions are correctly answered.

    1. Scottish Widow’s latest Retirement Report states how many people are saving adequately?

    2. Before 2006, what practice notes were issued by the Inland Revenue for personal pensions?

    3. Who believes pension tax relief is like a drug the government cannot leave alone?

    4. According to DWP figures to September 2015, how many employers have auto-enrolled workers?

    5. How many Sipps are there in the UK, according to Mr Moret?

    6. Mr McQueen describes A-Day as:

    Nearly There…

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