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Consultation launched on new pension freedoms

Last week HM Treasury launched a consultation on the workings of the new pension freedoms launched in April 2015. The Government has indicated that it is concerned that pension exit charges are a barrier to the freedoms and has set out 3 possible options to tackle ‘excessive or disproportionate’ exit fees. These include:

  • A cap on all early exit fees
  • A flexible cap in certain circumstances; or
  • A voluntary approach decided by the pensions market

The consultation also looks at the workings of the transfer process and the need to obtain financial advice. As part of the consultation, the Government has launched an online survey for pension savers to give their views on the pension freedoms. It’s an opportunity for the public to share information on their experiences with pension exit fees and transfers as part of its consultation on the issues.

The survey asks consumers whether they had tried to transfer their pensions before or after the freedoms were introduced, followed by questions focusing on exit fees and transfers. Pensions Minister, Baroness Altmann tweeted a link to the survey last week saying, ‘We want to hear your views and experiences of the new pension freedoms. Please use our survey [and] tell us.’ If you’d like to take part in the online survey, you can access it here, or if you want to find out more about the consultation, you can read the full paper by clicking here.

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