Havering Over 50s Forum concerned over Chancellor’s pension plan

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne outside 11 Downing Street before heading to the House of

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne outside 11 Downing Street before heading to the House of Commons to deliver his annual Budget statement. - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

An over 50s group leader has called changes to pensions outlined in Wednesday’s Budget “potentially disastrous”.

Havering Over 50s Forum chairman Cliff Reynolds fears giving pensioners access to lump sums could leave them out of pocket in later life.

Chancellor George Osbourne announced this week he was scrapping the necessity to buy an annuity to access pension funds.

This will give people the opportunity to withdraw a lump sum from their pension pot.

Cliff said: “The thing our members will be concerned about will be having the access to take out money without financial advice. You have saved your whole life and you could blow it all in an instant, and then we’re talking about real pensioner poverty.

“I do believe some people will welcome it but if people do not have the right advice it could be disastrous.”

Romford MP Andrew Rosindell said: “It gives people freedom, people can take responsibility themselves and they could potentially be better off.

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“There might be some people that may not know what to do but we live in a free society.”

Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Romford, Sam Gould, said: “I think it could be a problem if you’re a pensioner – it’s just a way of buying pensioners’ votes.”

The Chancellor’s pre-election Budget also outlined a new help-to-buy ISA for people looking to get on the property ladder, a penny off beer and cider duty and the introduction of a personal savings allowance.

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