James Coney  

Social care clarity could help inheritance

James Coney

James Coney

Really though, clarity is what we need. With more structured rules on the costs of social care, and transparency and limits on what you have to pay, families can then properly plan for retirement.

Only then will we finally see some redistribution of all this property wealth down through the generations.

Article continues after advert

Public sector needs rethink

It was only in 2011 that the Hutton Review of Fair Pay in the Public Sector decided that there was no further need for reform of public sector pensions.

But it seems to me that time may have moved on very quickly since then and that a fresh set of eyes may be needed.

The most telling reason is because of what is happening in the Teachers’ Pension Scheme, where employer contributions are set to soar because of the £15bn black hole in it.

This is going to cripple the budgets of schools. State schools will get one year extra funding to cope, but the independent sector is going to have to foot the bill on its own, with one of them being opting many teachers out of the public sector scheme and into alternative ones.

Likewise, the growing furore about the vast tax bills being landed on doctors hit by the pension taper has seen cries for them too to be given the option of saving in to a defined contribution scheme – albeit none of these calls come from doctors themselves.

And finally, a series of growing concerns about regulation – such as with London Capital & Finance, the role played by Innovative Finance Isas, the pension freedoms and auto-enrolment – has focused minds on whether MPs should be in a DC scheme too in order to focus their attentions on the idea of risk.

Maybe it is time we looked again at what the public sector get from their pension and think about how it affects the rest of the economy.

Publicise holdings 

Calls are growing for clarity on publication of full investment holdings from fund managers. Two weeks ago, the Mail on Sunday joined my hitherto lone consumer voice in calling for publication of full holdings every month.

The argument that not publishing allows rivals to front-run shares is fatuous and insulting. It is a move to stop retail investors who want clarity from getting it.

It is our money, we should know where it is invested.

James Coney is money editor of the Sunday Times