Pensions

State pension delay means millions must wait to get their private pensions too

Most of these pensions would convert to annuities when the savers were in their 60s. But we now live in the age of “pension freedoms”, following the huge shake-up initiated by George Osborne in 2014 and effective from 2015.

This gives people access to pension cash from age 55. At least at the moment. In fact the Government has indicated previously this age will rise, although it has not made the point very loudly.

In the consultation on the issues around pension freedoms, it proposed “to increase the minimum pension age from 55 now, to 57 from 2028, alongside the increase in state pension age to 67.

“From then on, the minimum pension age would remain 10 years below state pension age.”

If that comes to pass I could expect to access my personal or work pension money from age 58, rather than 55.

This is worth understanding fully, as the freedoms are already encouraging people to think more broadly about how they plan to use their pension cash.

Many would still expect or hope to be working in their late 50s, but they may even so wish to access some of their pension in order (for example) to meet children’s tuition fees or other one-off costs. Now those plans, too, will need adjustment.

New use for old bricks and mortar

The axing by banks of legions of branches is a trend that has been going on for decades. The closures are regrettable for the individuals or businesses that depend on a branch in their neighbourhood, but it’s hardly a surprise.

The vast majority of us are undertaking more banking transactions online or by phone. We’re not visiting the branches, and so can we reasonably blame banks’s bosses for shutting them down?

As a shareholder, I’m keen on cost reduction, and that includes the closure of under-utilised shops. But here’s an idea.

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