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LV= and demos hold joint fringe events at political party conferences

Press release: 17/09/2014

Retirement income specialist LV= and think-tank Demos, are holding fringe events at the three main political parties’ conferences.

LV= has organised panel discussions that will look at how the guidance that the Government has pledged should be delivered, in order to guarantee the best outcomes for people who wish to convert their pension savings into an income. The sessions will also look at how to ensure that pension savers that require advice are effectively signposted to regulated channels, and the role the financial services industry will have to play to make it a success.

The panellists from consumer bodies, Westminster, Demos and LV=, will discuss whether product innovation will allow retirees to take advantage of the new pension freedoms that are due to be implemented. Representatives confirmed to attend include Steve Webb MP, Dame Anne Begg, Chair of the Work and Pensions Select Committee, and Jane Vass from Age UK.

John Perks, Managing Director of LV= Retirement Solutions, said: “Those approaching retirement will have even greater choice as to how they take their pension savings from April 2015, and it is important that they are made aware of all the options available to them.

“We believe that guidance will go some way to improving consumer outcomes for retirees by educating them, however where appropriate, individuals really must be encouraged to take regulated advice as in many circumstances this will prove to be more beneficial.

“In our response to the ‘Freedom and Choice in Pensions’ consultation we outlined the changes that we believe need to be made to make sure the pension reforms are successful. We are committed to improving outcomes for those approaching retirement, however the industry has to put customers first to achieve this and to regain the trust of the public.”

The fringe events called ‘BRAVE NEW CHOICE: Will the new pension freedoms deliver for consumers?’ are free to attend and details are below:

  1. LV= and Demos’ Labour fringe event will be held in Manchester on Monday 22nd September from 12.30pm until 2pm in Room 1, Premier Inn, Manchester Central
  2. LV= and Demos’ Conservative fringe event will be held in Birmingham on Monday 29th September at 12.30pm until 2pm in Room 105, Jurys Inn
  3. LV= and Demos’ Liberal Democrat fringe event will be held in Glasgow on Monday 6th October from 12.30pm until 2pm, in the Monet Room, the Campanile

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Notes to editors:

Below is LV=’s six-point charter which outlines what the business is calling for:

  • Incentives for pensions savings – an assurance that the 25% tax-free commencement lump sum at retirement continues to be available as an incentive to individuals to save in the long-term for a pension;
  • Simplification of the regulations around pensions – remove a number of regulatory restrictions to allow product innovation which support the new choices for consumers and enable new products to meet “in retirement” needs;
  • The “guidance guarantee” to be delivered independently and not by incumbent providers and offer clear sign-posting to regulated advice where appropriate;
  • A regulated advice voucher funded by industry, to be made available to individuals to ensure best possible outcome for individuals;
  • A restriction on pension providers engaging with customers until they have confirmed that they have had guidance or chosen not to take it; and
  • A “pensions passport” to ensure each individual receives consistent and clear information from both the State and their pension providers about their pension to encourage saving, shopping around and to sign-post them to the guidance guarantee.

About Demos

Demos is Britain's leading cross-party think tank. They produce original research, publish innovative thinkers and host thought-provoking events. They have spent 20 years at the centre of the policy debate, with an overarching mission to bring politics closer to people.

In line with its mission, Demos delivers an incisive and broad-ranging programme of events across all three party conferences. Using fresh and innovative formats, Demos is able to deliver intellectually stimulating events that feature the most interesting speakers, are attended by the key stakeholders in a specific field, and are relevant to contemporary policy debates.