OpinionSep 10 2020

Letters: Govt pension freedom age hike moving the goalposts

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Leave pensioners alone

One really has to wonder as to the fitness of Paul Johnson to be the director at the IFS, considering his suggestion that pensioners are somehow in a position to fund Covid-19 debt payback.

Indeed, some pensioners may be well-off in retirement. However, the bulk of previously working-class and middle-class retirees are on fixed incomes/inflation-linked annuities or sat looking at diminishing pots in drawdown that have suffered hugely due to the current financial situation.

Targeting this group through tax is an attack on a defenceless section of society.

This group of people are almost unique in that they cannot raise further income in retirement due to covert age discrimination in the workplace, not to mention the scarcity of jobs in the first place.

They cannot benefit from future wage increases and are at the mercy of tax rises in general which can unpick carefully made retirement plans at the stroke of a keyboard.

He even goes on to say that such measures would not go anywhere near raising enough money.

One wonders what cold, callous, discriminatory, rich-feeding-the rich, kick-a-man-when-he-is-down, planet is Mr Johnson from?

Peter Neal



Moving the goalposts

Many thanks for your insightful and informative piece on the raising of pension access age to 57 (‘Govt confirms pension freedom age hike to 57’, Sep 3). See page 10.

One thing that was not clear to me, and therefore might not be to any others, is whether anyone who has invested in a private pension (my civil service and other workplace one have different rules) already, before the legislation being enacted, would also be bound by the age increase.

As an example: I am 43. I was considering investing £50,000 of an exit package into a self-invested personal pension or similar, with the plan that I could access all or some of that in 12 years’ time, at 55.

However, if I have understood the plans correctly, I now will not be able to access any of it (even the 25 per cent tax free portion) until I am 57?

Question: would that still be the case if I had/have managed to make my investment in a private pension before the legislation is enacted?

Or will the legislation effectively retrospectively change the T&Cs of my investment? 

That seems a little like moving the goalposts for those of us who had enough foresight to plan our early retirement.

Name and address supplied


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