The Queen’s Speech leaves pensions in a royal muddle

Until his recent bizarre comments about people using their pensions to pay for Lamborghinis, Steve Webb was rightly regarded as one of the finest pensions ministers Britain has ever had, and one of the unsung heroes of the coalition government. I have no doubt only a tiny minority of the electorate know who he is, but his personal vision for UK pensions policy is stamped all over the Queen’s Speech, which heralds the government’s support for “collective defined contribution” (CDC) pensions.

The problem is that Webb’s luck has already run out. In the budget earlier this year chancellor George Osborne announced the newly retired will no longer be forced to turn their pension pot into an “annuity” – a lifelong, regular income stream, purchased from an insurance company. This policy, due to start next year, makes the task of implementing CDC incredibly difficult.

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Image: UK Parliament