In Focus: Retirement Income  

The devilish details in the Queen's Speech

  • To understand the measures in the Queen's Speech
  • To be able to explain the need to tackle scams
  • To understand the issues of long-term care provision
CPD
Approx.30min

“Earlier this year, the government announced the scheme will be expanded to include dormant pension and investment assets, including assets held within stocks and shares Isas, as long as the assets meet a very specific definition of ‘dormancy’."

But she says that, for the scheme to work with Isas, the Treasury must confirm that allowing these assets to be transferred to the scheme would be tax neutral for the provider, the asset owner and the dormant asset scheme itself.

Griffin adds: "Some savers will understandably have concerns that their assets may be transferred to the scheme against their will, and they may lose them forever.

"But they should take comfort in the fact that at its heart, the scheme is about reuniting consumers with their assets, so in the event that assets become classified as ‘dormant’, consumers will still be able to claim them back from the scheme."

Pensions disappointment

But while the dormant assets scheme can help boost charitable causes, pensions policy makers have expressed disappointment that much-needed developments to the workplace pensions arena have not been set out.

Kate Smith, head of pensions for Aegon, comments: “Other areas where there is potential for legislation include on defined benefit superfunds, automated solutions for consolidating small frozen pension pots, sidecar workplace savings and introducing an annual benefit statements season."

There is also the long-awaited implementation of the long-awaited 2017 review recommendations to auto-enrolment. Smith says: "Many of these issues are aimed at finding consumer-friendly solutions relating to the side-effects of auto-enrolment.

"One prime example is dealing with the rapidly increasing number of small frozen pension pots, now that nearly every job comes with a pension."

Sadly, none of these have been given a showing in the Queen's Speech, which commentators feel is a missed opportunity, given the link between accumulation, decumulation, and care.

Her colleague Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon, says to get the later-life care provision right, one needs to focus on the accumulation strategy: “Increasingly, preparing for possible care costs will become part of managing pension, property and other savings wealth into and through retirement.

"Financial advice will play a hugely important role in ensuring people make the right decisions for an uncertain future.”

But with the link between pension and other savings and social care not explicit in the forthcoming legislation, commentators have been left wishing for more from the government.

Scams

As expected, the Queen's Speech touched on the online safety bill, brought by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, with the aim of tackling child pornography and funding terrorist activity.