This government believes in the principle of freedom. Individuals who have worked hard and saved responsibly throughout their adult life should be trusted to make their own decisions with their pension savings” – George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, January, 2015.
Pensions have traditionally been seen as necessary, but, let’s face it, a bit boring. They have often been seen as restrictive, poor value and poorly performing. What pensions really needed, was a bit of a make-over. In reality, what they needed was a radical make-over.
To be fair, even as pensions advisers, we did not see it coming when George Osborne announced the biggest changes to pensions seen in our lifetimes. It took a few reads to appreciate just how radical the changes were.
Initial reaction to the changes was mixed. Some saw it as a fantastic new era in the pensions world, and others thought it was irresponsible electioneering and dangerous. We think the changes are fantastic news for anyone who has a pension or who is thinking of investing into a pension. Yes, some people may take all of their pension benefits and spend them, but we think it will be a small minority, and these will tend to be the smaller pension pots. Talk of buying Lamborghinis is wide of the mark, in our opinion.