Dear Government- “Five do’s, five don’ts” – #pensions


Pension Minister Webb – (May 2020)

For those slipping quietly into retirement in the UK the political promises are about the revaluation of your state benefits, the payment of your winter allowance and the tax treatment of your savings and income.

Whatever you have done or not done is in the past, you are retiring , winding down from the business of working and getting into the business of spending. Alex Ferguson is reported he’s having problems with all this freedom.

So it appears are the Regulators.

My little pocket book Stella gave me after her trip to Greece reads

“For excessive freedom is nothing more than excessive slavery”

Plato said that

“Pension Freedoms without well-built/well-sold product’s no freedom at all”.

I said that

2015-03-28 04.48.42

I blame Leonard Cohen for this grumpiness. Listening on an early bank holiday morning to the Grumpy Old Git makes me one too – I’ve got the mug to prove it (thanks Oliver- pictured).

Five Do’s

So here are the five things I want from a new Government to cure my ole pension blues!

    1.  The abolition of the lifetime allowance so that people can aspire to a decent retirement income from their pension savings.                                                 Flat rate relief on the way in – yes! Penalties on the way out – no!
    2. Scrap the tax on a tax. Abolish VAT for auto-enrolment services bought by micros unable to reclaim it. 
    3. The duty on employers staging auto-enrolment to choose a pension and explain to  workers why they’ve chosen as they have 
    4. An easement to allow providers to pay intermediaries a fixed fee to onboard pensions. 
    5. A commitment to legislate for collective decumulation schemes to help ordinary people spend their retirement spendings without the money running out.

These changes (most clarifications and reinforcements), I would add a further five things I’d ask a future Government to follow these five don’ts from the tower of the Pension Plowman.

Five Don’ts

  1. No further charge caps on decumulation assets. The cost of decumulating will fall organically if we can introduce collectives, but even before then , we must trust this new more transparent market to do it’s work, even the current cap is unnecessary, extending it doubly so.
  2. No changes to the auto-enrolment staging time-table. The Pension Regulator has alerted all employers to their staging date, many advisory firms are working to that timetable, please do not mess with the planning.
  3. No relenting on the miscreant firms subverting the reputation of pensions by nefarious charges to the net asset value of our pension funds (hidden charges). There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.
  4. No preferential treatment for NEST , NEST is a good pension but it is only good for certain types of employers. It should not be promoted as a one size fits all solution by Government and it should be called to account for its debt to the DWP.
  5. No change in pension minister ; with the anticipated (temporary) absence for the respected member for Cumbernauld, there is only one politician in this country that understands and promotes proper pension, that is Steve Webb. Whatever Government we have should include Steve Webb as pension minister.

Of course there are many more outside the scope of this blog. To discuss these issues and those you feel strongly about, come to our Pension PlayPen lunch on Tuesday 5th May at 12 for 12.30, the Counting House Pub, Cornhill – 200 yards East of Bank Station in the City.

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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4 Responses to Dear Government- “Five do’s, five don’ts” – #pensions

  1. Duncan says:

    How about carving them onto a stone tablet and sending them to Ed?

  2. henry tapper says:

    good idea Duncan – he could be made to carry all his tablets around with him for the next five years, the more the merrier!

  3. IC says:

    Come on chaps. I pointed out months ago that the Government and Regulator are at odds. A cynic might ask if that was actually planned.

  4. Pension60 says:

    …No change in pension minister ; with the anticipated (temporary) absence for the respected member for Cumbernauld, there is only one politician in this country that understands and promotes proper pension, that is Steve Webb. Whatever Government we have should include Steve Webb as pension minister. …


    Lib Dems (the party proved to lie the most) Pension Minister Mr Steve Webb did say in the press that he was unconcerned what people thought they were going to get in pension (in 2016).

    See why, at end of my petition, in my WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT section, at:

    The SERPs opt out will effect private and works pensions as well from 2016.
    This was known as far back as 1994.
    In 1993 law passed that wiped out the guarantee of pension payout.
    In 1995 law passed that began the rise in retirement age.

    People are getting formal government forecasts of state pension on and from 6 April 2016, next year, of just £38 per week with no top ups after 45 years work.

    The nil state pension is the abolition of the pension for many different reasons to millions into the future, but especially women.

    Pension Credit (savings) is abolished in 2016.

    Pension Credit guarantee credit becomes more complex conditional and so will be lost, even eventually to the over 75s.

    Universal Credit denies Pension Credit if either of a couple if below the raised retirement age.

    Retirement age is rolling upwards towards 70.

    All the political parties in the media eye offer nil state pension to men and women from 2016, just when the welfare state ends for those in work or in part time work or in low waged jobs or low income self employment.

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