Osborne mulls further change to annuity rules: Chancellor George Osborne is considering including a further shake-up of pensions rules in his crucial pre-election Budget next week, to allow pensioners to sell their existing annuities for cash.
Britons get worse pensions than French and Germans: British pensioners are worse off than their counterparts in a swathe of European countries, including France, Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland and Switzerland. But they enjoy better pensions than those in Italy, Austria, Sweden and Poland
Pension crisis ‘can no longer be ignored’: One in ten workers fear they will never be able to retire and the majority believe they will have to double their pension contributions to pay for their old age, according to research.
Insurance giant Standard Life said the recent acquisition of Ignis helped it to increase assets under administration by 38% in 2014. The company reported a 19% increase in operating profit before tax from continuing operations to £604m, while the total dividend was lifted 7.8% to 17.03p per share.
Government's plans to levy fines of up to £300 on savers choosing to access their pensions like a bank account are a "unfair", the Financial Times reported. Savers will have the opportunity to cash in their pension from next year, but those who access their funds "flexibly" from April could be fined up to £300 if they fail to notify all their other pension providers within a month. Dr Ros Altmann, an independent pensions expert and adviser to the government, said that fining savers was "unworkable" and "draconian" and would "disproportionately disadvantage" the less wealthy.
Standard Life reported a 13% increase in fee revenue from continuing operations over the nine months to the end of September, to hit £1,032m. That came as assets under administration from continuing operations increased to £290.0bn, driven by net inflows of £4.3bn and the acquisition of Ignis Asset Management. Management highlighted how the increased focus on fee business, which the disposal of its Canadian operations will allow, will enable it to return £1.75bn of capital to shareholders.
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